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Monday, March 5, 2012

Deep and Dark and Dangerous

Deep and Dark and Dangerous
by Mary Downing Hahn

Reading level: 4.0 ~ Genre: Horror/Supernatural
Chapters: 22 ~ Pages: 187

At home in Maryland, Ali discovers an old photograph in a book from her mother's childhood. The mystery begins with a of picture of Claire (Ali's mom), Dulcie (Ali's aunt) and someone whose name starts with a T was taken at Sycamore Lake some 30 years before. 'T' had been torn out of the picture, but why?

When Ali asks her mom about T and the place it was taken, Gull Cottage in Webster's Cove, Maine, her mother says she remembers nothing. A few weeks later, Dulcie and Emma (Ali's cousin) make an unannounced visit to request Ali come to Maine for the summer to babysit Emma while Dulcie works. Claire is adamant that it is too dangerous to go but her husband says to allow it.

A month later, Ali finds herself at Gull Cottage, a place her family abandoned after the mysterious death of Teresa 30 years earlier. The cottage was restored, the place seems peaceful except for the dark shadows lurking about.

Emma and Ali meet Sissy - a mean, spirited child with lots of influence on Emma. She later turns out to be Teresa in ghost form. Through various adventures Emma and Ali learn more and more about Teresa and what happens to her.

The more time they spend at the cottage, the more everyone because depressed, suspicious, and mean-spirited. Everyone is having nightmares and then one night Sissy finally reveals who she truly is and what it will take to make her stop haunting and harming the family.

The family tries to tell the police the truth after all these years but they would not listen. So instead, they tell the newspapers. The body is found, Sissy is finally at peace after a real burial, and the family is healed. The end.

My Opinion
My previous experience with Mary Downing Hahn left me worried about the content that I would find within the pages. I was pleasantly surprised at the story within and felt that it is an appropriate story for the intended audience. I would give this book 4 - 4 1/2 stars and I am not being generous as with the last book. This book has not won any awards and, in my opinion, it is much more award worthy than The Dead Man in Indian Creek.

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At March 5, 2012 at 1:11 PM , Blogger Oodles of Teaching Fun said...

I have awarded you the Liebster award. You have a great blog. Congratulations! Go to my blog to see what to do in order to grab your award!



At March 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM , Anonymous Tammy said...

Do you find that your students are drifting more toward books of this type? I teach 4th grade and my students really enjoy books of this genre. I think it's a reflection of the the current book culture of vampire stories, mysteries, thrillers, etc.

I have personally started the Vampirates series you recommended on your page. I bought it on Kindle, but plan to buy copies for my students if I find it to be something they would like.

Great blog!
Confessions of a Fourth Grade Teacher

At March 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM , Blogger Mrs. Poland said...

Hi Tammy -

Yes, I am seeing more and more students reading this genre than ever before. I try to follow the pattern of their reading so that I stay currrent with them. A few years ago, I was seeing nothing but Fantasy and Harry Potter. Prior to that it was Historical Fiction.

I try to steer the course of my readers by introducing them to other genres but I have found that I must first reach them where they are at and connect with them prior to recommending other things.

Let me know what you think of Vampirates! I am eagerly awaiting book 4 to arrive today in the mail.

At March 5, 2012 at 4:32 PM , Blogger Jordon, The Messy One said...

My students loveeeee Mary Downing Hahn!

At March 5, 2012 at 8:55 PM , Blogger Jen Vincent said...

Ooooh! Mary Downing Hahn. I haven't read this one but the cover looks appropriately creepy. I reread Wait for Helen and then read for the first time All the Lovely Bad Ones recently. She does a great job...but I can only take so many scary books. :)

At March 5, 2012 at 9:54 PM , Blogger TammySF. said...

Oh, I just now see that youve already received the Lovely Blog Award!! I gave it to you tonight on my blog!! Go check it out:)


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