Sep 6, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Wait Till Helen Comes

3 soft & spicy snickerdoodles.

Cover Love: I really like this cover, but it's not the cover of my edition. I had the older cover which I am sure was scary for a kid's book when it first came out.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
This is one of those books that people remember as the scariest book they read when they were young. Since I hadn't read it I decided to fix that this summer. Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:
Beware of Helen...

Heather is such a whiny little brat. Always getting Michael and me into trouble. But since our mother married her father, we're stuck with her...our "poor stepsister" who lost her real mother in a mysterious fire.

But now something terrible has happened. Heather has found a new friend, out in the graveyard behind our home -- a girl named Helen who died with her family in a mysterious fire over a hundred years ago. Now her ghost returns to lure children into the drown! I don't want to believe in ghosts, but I've followed Heather into the graveyard and watch her talk to Helen. And I'm terrified. Not for myself, but for Heather...

I Kept Reading Because: I was enjoying the story and was on a trip. I needed something to listen to!

What I Liked (& Didn't):
I did not love the narrator of the audio version I listened to. She was a bit grown up for this story. However, she had good emotion in her voice which gave the scary parts an extra punch.

Good stories do make you feel emotions and the strongest emotion I felt was irritation! Molly's mother and step-father were such annoying parents. I realize that Molly's isolation was key to the story, but every time there was a scene where the parents took Heather's side and punished Molly I would get irritated. Plus, they uproot all their kids to an abandoned church in the middle of nowhere, then ignore them so they can work on their "art," then get mad when any of them act up.

I was also so annoyed with Heather, what a little brat. This was really good for the story because she needed to be a lonely little girl to allow for Helen to get in her head.

I did like Molly. She finally pulled herself up and decided to save Heather on her own. Just made her a stronger main character!

The setting was great, though. The church they lived in, the graveyard, the woods around the house and Helen's burned out house. Great setting and description of these areas. It added a great dimension to the book.

I didn't find the book super scary, but I can see how a younger reader really would.

To Sum Up: I will be handing this book to my younger readers this fall when they ask for scary stories (which they always do)! And now that I have read it I will be able to booktalk it much better!

Audiobook checked out from the public library in my town.


  1. I've been curious about this one for a long time. I'm so glad you reviewed it! :-)

  2. I love Hahn's work! She writes the best ghost stories for the tween set!

  3. Karen:
    She does, she is the one I always go to first when I get requests for scary stories!

    I know! I just had to finally read it because I hear about it all the time.