The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall

By: Mary Downing Hahn

  • Age Range:10 – 12 years
  • Grade Level:5 – 7
  • Paperback:160 pages
  • Publisher:HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 6, 2011)

 
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Amazon Book Summary:

When twelve-year-old Florence boards the crowded horse-drawn coach in London, she looks forward to a new life with her great uncle and aunt at Crutchfield Hall, an old manor house in the English countryside. Anything will be better, she thinks, than the grim London orphanage where she has lived since her parents’ death.
But Florence doesn’t expect the ghost of her cousin Sophia, who haunts the cavernous rooms and dimly lit hallways of Crutchfield and concocts a plan to use Florence to help her achieve her murderous goals. Will Florence be able to convince the others in the household of the imminent danger and stop Sophia before it’s too late?

Character Believability:

The characters in this book are for the most part, fiercely one dimensional. While some of their traits come across smoothly and with incredible believability, the flat stubbornness of the characters brought the believability down to a 3 out of 5 for me.

Flow and Pace:

The flow was choppy in several places, but the pace was well set. While it could have been smoothed out a little more, I felt this book had a good set up and movement for its intended middle grade audience. I gave this category a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Reader Engagement:

The storyline and plot twists kept me engaged, despite the predictable events and flat character personas.

I enjoyed the glimmers of a great story that shone through and even had a couple of moments in which my spine was tingled. I gave this category a 4 out of 5 possible stars.

Reader Enrichment:

I walked away without feeling enriched at all. I honestly have nothing that I felt boosted my mind in any way and give this category 2 out of the possible 5 stars.

Reader Enjoyment:

This was a quick, decent, and fairly enjoyment read for me. I believe that the intended audience of middle grade students will have a great enjoyment in this book. I am giving this category 3.5 out of possible 5 stars.

Back Copy:

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The back cover copy, which is almost identical to the summary listed above, feels choppy and not very intriguing. 3 out of 5 stars for the Back Copy.

Front Cover:

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The picture on the front cover works well. It goes with the story, is intriguing and a little creepy, and would work even better as the first thing to pull in a reader if there wasn’t a large red splotch over the female character’s head. I understand that this story is about a ghost and the way she died would lend itself to this macabre addition to the image. However, the red blot actually takes away from the creep factor of the book. 3 out of 5 stars for this image as well.

Overall Rating: 3.14 Stars.

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