Reviews for Deep and Dark and Dangerous
Booklist Reviews 2007 March #2
Hahn offers another eerie, suspenseful ghost story filled with family secrets. Thirteen-year-old Ali is thrilled when her aunt Dulcie invites her to spend the summer at the family's Maine cottage, where Ali will help babysit her four-year-old cousin, Emma. Things fall apart, however, when Sissie, a mysterious, manipulative girl, befriends Emma. As tensions rise, Ali begins to piece together rumors about a childhood tragedy that continues to haunt her mother and Dulcie. Early on, Hahn drops heavy hints about who Sissie is. Guessing her identity won't spoil the suspense for readers, though; on the contrary, it will feed their sense of terror as events unfold. The emotional weight of family dynamics and the private burdens of adults might have overwhelmed the ghost story, but Hahn maintains the momentum with scenes that will chill readers as surely as a plunge in cold water. Young people will easily connect with sensitive Ali, whose search for family truths feels like "good practice for crossing a minefield." ((Reviewed March 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Thirteen-year-old Ali, vacationing with her aunt and cousin at a secluded family cottage, is drawn by family tension and a bratty visitor to investigate the events of a long-ago summer that ended in a girl's death. Despite a slightly redundant plot, the ghost's appearance and need for resolution rings true, as do the effects of the tragedy on Ali's family. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 May #1
Twelve-year-old Ali is excited by the prospect of spending the summer at Sycamore Lake, babysitting her four-year-old cousin Emma while her Aunt Dulcie paints at the newly renovated, long-deserted family cottage. But who is the neighbor girl "Sissy," who wedges herself like a thorn between the two girls? Who is "Teresa," the girl torn out of a family photograph, and who all the town seems to know about? Why does Ali's mother refuse to come to the cabin, and why do Dulcie's paintings suddenly take a dark and watery tone? Signature spooky Hahn sends appropriate shivers up the reader's spine. If Ali's insights into Sissy's psychological problems are surprisingly mature, they're necessary to render the reader's delightful fright into a satisfyingly chilly but calm resolution. Not terribly surprising, but it does the trick. (Fiction. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection - October 2007
This chilling tale of the supernatural proves once again that Hahn has a deft hand with ghost stories. Thirteen- year-old Ali is chafing at the prospect of spending a long, boring summer at home hassled by her protective and over-emotional mother, when salvation presents itself with the arrival of her Aunt Dulcie. Flamboyant, artistic Dulcie wants to spend the summer at Gull Cottage in Maine to prepare paintings for a fall show, but she needs a babysitter for her four-year-old daughter Emma and wants to hire Ali. Ali discovers that something mysterious happened at the cottage when Dulcie and Ali's mother were young girls there, but neither sister is willing to talk about it. At the cottage, an obnoxious young girl named Sissy appears and begins to have a very bad influence on Emma. A masterful build-up of suspense, eerie foreshadowings in dreams, and a wonderfully spooky atmosphere will send shivers down the spine. Hahn's ghosts are real and scary, but the resolution should still any potential reader nightmares. Despite the need for some necessary willing suspension of disbelief, this book is a real page-turner. Recommended. Quinby Frank, Librarian, Green Acres School, Rockville, Maryland © 2007 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
School Library Journal Reviews 2007 May
Gr 4-7 -Thirteen-year-old Ali is excited to be spending the summer with her Aunt Dulcie, an artist, and her four-year-old cousin, Emma, in the Maine lakeside cottage where her aunt and mother spent their childhood summers. But why is Ali's mother so terrified to let her go? Why did the sisters' annual sojourns there stop so abruptly 30 years earlier? And what is the meaning of Ali's recurring dream in which, while walking along the shore of Sycamore Lake, she meets a young girl who points to three girls in a canoe and admonishes, "you must do something about this?" Ali soon discovers that Teresa, her mother's and aunt's playmate, had disappeared and was presumed drowned when their grandfather's empty canoe washed up on shore. When a strange girl calling herself Sissy shows up at the cottage and lures Emma into defiant and dangerous behavior, Ali finally realizes who she is. Hahn weaves into the story some classic mystery elements such as a torn photograph, a waterlogged doll, dense fog, and an empty grave, all of which add to the suspense and keep the well-plotted story moving along to a satisfying conclusion.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY [Page 134]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.