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The Old Willis Place    by Mary Downing Hahn Amazon.com order for
Old Willis Place
by Mary Downing Hahn
Order:  USA  Can
Clarion, 2007 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Lissa's dad takes the job as caretaker on the old Willis Place outside of a small Maryland town. They move into a trailer on the grounds, but the rundown Willis house is off limits. The privacy and quiet are just what Lissa's dad needs to finish his novel, but Lissa is lonely and longs for a friend close by.

Dianna and her younger brother Georgie watch them unload their things into the trailer. They live in the surrounding woods which are part of the old Willis property. Diana too would like a friend, but as Georgie tells her, the rules say they mustn't be seen. It's okay to borrow Lissa's things like her bicycle and books and even a teddy bear, but they must never allow her to see them.

Dianna has been lonely for a long time. For the first time she shrugs off the rules and makes herself known to Lissa. Lissa wants to explore the Willis Place which has been empty since the old lady who lived there died. Diana has reason to be afraid, but Lissa can't understand why. When Lissa insists, Dianna gives in and joins her. Their exploration unleashes a ghost.

Ghost stories are a favorite of readers of all ages. Hahn's tale about The Old Willis Place is suspenseful and chilling. Just right for a cold winter night.

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