Publisher: Clarion Books
Sold By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: July 18, 2018
Okay, I’ll admit the cover drew me to this story! But look at it, soooo spooky! ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.
While this was an easy read, Elsie didn’t become a ghost until halfway into the story. This was delayed longer than I’d anticipated, making some of the bullying redundant in order to get to the good stuff–a scary ghost! And even though the historical setting enriched the story, I felt cheated with the lack of generational terms. But make no mistake, author Mary Downing Hahn creates a realistic story of how easy it is to get swept into bullying when a child just wants to be liked. She also paints a cruel tale of how difficult it is to get out of a this horrible situation. So, if you’re looking for a darker read, this is for you!
Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar.
***THE OFFICIAL BLURB***
Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.
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And check out these additional reviews:
“Hahn’s story is characteristically steeped in eerie atmosphere, and the novel’s blend of historical drama, the supernatural, and the intricacies of adolescent friendship is a gripping combination.” —PW
“Hahn is a veteran author who clearly knows her apples about writing ghost stories, as this, her latest inventive page-turner, evidences… Shivers aplenty, but also genuine emotion that will invite empathy.” — Booklist
“Another historical and chilling success.” —Kirkus
“Another solid addition to Hahn’s oeuvre, this would also make a spine-chilling pair with Cohen’s The Doll’s Eye.” —Bulletin