Book Review: Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

I came upon the graphic novel version of this story at a book fair at my kid’s school. When I went home to research it, I saw that it was originally a novel, so I gave it a shot. The novel is middle grade—meant for ages 8-12 or so—and tells the story of a blended family: Molly (12) and her younger brother, and Heather (7) are brought together when their parents marry.

The parents are both artistic and move to an old church in the middle of nowhere (that has been converted to living quarters). There are rumors that the property is haunted, with reports of drownings on the pond on the property. This is a literal ghost story where the ghost interacts with characters.

I won’t use spoilers in this review. I will say that this piece was moody and suspenseful and had me flipping page after page. Heather was absolutely annoying for much of the story, as was her father, but there is a reason for that. Every element of the work seemed to have a purpose, and the characters had a depth I was not expecting for a book for younger readers.

I may have to check out the graphic novel, and in researching the story for this review, I saw that there is also a movie version, but its rating was not great. If you like ghost stories, even if you are grownup, this is worth your time to read.

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