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The Haunting of Hillside School by Kristiana Gregory

The Haunting of Hillside School

The Cabin Creek Mysteries
Kristiana Gregory

Scholastic (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-545-00378-4 (0545003784)
ISBN-13: 978-0-545-00378-0 (9780545003780)
Publication Date: September 2008
List Price: $4.99

Review: Have you ever read a book where you read the first page and have to read the rest of the book? Well I have, the book is The Haunting of Hillside School. The Cabin Creek Mysteries is a series of books for children between the ages of ten and twelve, written by Kristiana Gregory. The series is about three cousins – Jeff who is twelve, David who is ten, and Claire who is nine – and the mysteries they encounter. Also their grandfather Mr. Wellback and a friend they met along the way called Sophie help with solving the mystery. The fourth book in the six-book series is called The Haunting of Hillside School.

It all started when Claire saw a pale face in the classroom window and believed it was a ghost. Claire told Jeff and David about it and at first they didn’t believe her. Once their grandfather told them that Hillside School used to be a mansion owned by the Tuttle family who had a daughter named Nettie, they were hooked on the idea of a haunting. Their grandfather also told them the story of how the Tuttle family mansion came to be their school and the connection to Nettie. That’s where their investigation began. Along the way they meet people who say that they are going to tear down Hillside school, and they meet Sophie. With Sophie they uncover strange clues that lead them closer to solving the mystery. Their quest for the solution to the mystery takes them to places in their town they never knew about where secrets will be uncovered.

This book was fantastic and very realistic. Although this book was very interesting I think it should be more geared towards younger readers. This book was good because it continuously captured your attention. One example of this from the book is that in one of the chapters at the end it said “He had fallen through some rotten wood and landed in the basement”. This makes you want to read on because it makes you ask questions like “Is he alright?” questions that can only be answered if you read into the next chapter. The book also made you feel as if you were part of the story due to the descriptiveness and book gives you a map and specifics of the area so much that you get a picture of their town in your head and when they go from place you follow along and can see where they are. Also the details in the book use some of the five senses. An example of this is that in the book it said “an aroma of gingerbread was in the air”. The plot and storyline make this book a realistic fiction which is my kind of book. The character of Claire was my personal favorite character because she was the biggest sleuth out of all of the cousins. The reason being why someone should read this book is because this book it’s amazing. The book could get anyone interested in reading it due to the well planned out plot and characters. It is a fun book to read and it was a very intriguing. Once I told my aunt and grandma about the book they said “can I read it after you’re done with it.” Can you believe that even my grandma and aunt were intrigued by this book? If she was intrigued by this book because she’s a picky reader I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to read it. If I were to rate this book out of ten stars it would be worthy of a hundred stars. I could read this book over and over again without getting bored because each time I discover something new that I didn’t notice before and the clues fall into the conclusion of the mystery in your head.

Review written by Devin, Grade 6. Date of review: October 2009.