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September 4, 2018

The Girl in the Locked Room by Mary Downing Hahn ~ a Review

by MK French


What do you think of the opening paragraph? Would you keep reading?
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Jules' father moved around the country to fix up old houses. Now that she's thirteen, she's tired of it. It doesn't help that the new house they've moved into is old enough to have local stories about it. Those stories don't include the pale face of a girl in the third-floor window. The more Jules looks into it, the more she wants to help the girl trapped there, and maybe help her change her family's fate.

The Girl in the Locked Room
Sept. 2018; Clarion Books; 978-1328850928
audio, ebook, print (200 pages)
children's, horror
The classic elements of a ghost story are here: the creepy house that modern newcomers are coming to, the terrible night that had happened in the late 1800's and the noises that repeat which only the young girl can hear. We always wonder about the stories involved in old Victorian houses, especially the ones that are crumbling and in need of repair. This book really plays up that curiosity and tells us a believable story.

The story unfolds slowly and naturally, and we see them through Jules' eyes as well as that of the ghost herself. Her story is a sad one, and she's not a frightening kind of ghost. That makes this perfect for the middle-grade readers and preteens that it's directed at, while still being enjoyable for older readers who don't want to be scared out of their minds. My daughter is nearly ten, and she eagerly kept reading the book because she had to know how it ends. Both Jules and the ghost are engaging characters, and we're drawn into their story very easily.

Buy The Girl in the Locked Room at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.


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18 comments:

  1. Very scary.I might or might not read on!

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    Replies
    1. It's frightening, but not in a way that would make it difficult to engage with. This is a ghost story, not a horror one.

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  2. That opening paragraph is pretty depressing. Here's hoping the rest of the book is better.

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    Replies
    1. It definitely gets better, and ends on an uplifting note!

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  3. Sounds like a great story. I've read other creepy ones by the author. This week I am featuring Read and Gone by Allison Brook. Happy reading!

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    Replies
    1. She's definitely a great author, and not just for middle grades!

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  4. A frightening experience! I like how the story unfolds, for the young girl and the "ghost."

    Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

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    Replies
    1. This is another great book by this author. As much as it targets middle graders, it's good for adults, too. :)

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  5. I want to read it! Makes me want to go to the library right now and get it. But, I must finish this HUGE stack first or my husband might kill me!

    Here is mine: http://www.oneemergentlife.com/first-chapter-first-paragraph-week-3/

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    Replies
    1. I have the exact same problem! I keep meaning to read more over vacations, but it never quite happens. This one is fairly short, if you're a fast reader...

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  6. Replies
    1. It's a great book, in the same ghostly vein as the others I've read by this author.

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  7. Although this isn't really my kind of read I do love the premise of the Victorian House, the author can take that in all sorts of directions.

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    Replies
    1. It's a ghost story, not horror, if that helps. The house is described very well, as is definitely one of the draws in the book. :)

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  8. Haven't read a scary story in ages, and the cover is very fitting!! I'd read this.

    Here's my Tuesday post. Enjoy your day!

    Sassy x

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  9. This one hooked me. I'd definitely keep reading.

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