Publisher's Note:  

The house on Hemlock Road used to be someone's home. Until something happened. Something that even after 80 years, can never be forgotten or forgiven . . . .

Eleven-year-old twins Hannah and Anna agree about everything—especially that they don't want to move to the creepy old house on Hemlock Road. But as soon as they move into the house, the twins start disagreeing for the first time in their lives. In fact, it's almost as though something or someone is trying to drive them apart. While Anna settles in, Hannah can't ignore the strange things that keep happening on Hemlock Road. Why does she sense things that no one else in the family does?  Like when the hemlock branch outside waves shush, shush. Or at night, if she listens hard enough, it's almost as though someone is trying to talk to her. Someone no one else can hear. Someone angry enough to want revenge. Hannah, are you listening? Is the house haunted? Is Hannah crazy? Or does something in the house want her as a best friend—forever?



This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House Children's Books


The Girl Behind the Glass

by Jane Kelley

Review Date:
11/02/2011

Recommended Age:
14+

Overall Rating:
****

Profanity / Language Rating:
***

Violence / Gore Rating:
**

Sex / Nudity Rating:
**

Overall Review:  

How scary it must be to live in a haunted house.  Hannah and her twin sister Anna (and their family) have moved into a house that is purported to be haunted by a ghost with green eyes.  But ghosts aren’t real, right?  But what if the house you live in seems to have random gusts of wind…inside? And a tree branch (just one) that waves at you? And what if the longer you live there, the more you start to feel anger and hatred and suspicion of everyone around you?  And is that a voice I hear?  Why is the ghost still there, and what does she want everyone (especially Hannah) to know?

The point of view of this story is so interesting.  It is all told from the eyes of the ghost who haunts the house.  How often do we get the ghosts’ side of the story?  The tone is dark and foreboding, and while it gives you chills and makes you want to turn up the lights, it also keeps your attention and is difficult to put down!  The Girl Behind the Glass is not only a great ghost story for a younger audience, it is also full of the importance of family—especially sisters!—and of understanding and forgiveness.


Content Analysis:  

There was one crude reference to a girl’s large behind, but there was no profanity.

There is some mild violence.  The narrator is a ghost and alludes often to her murder (death) and that of small creatures.  A character almost drowns in a swamp.  A character is hit over the head by a somewhat crazy person and drowns in a pond.  Bats fly around and seem to attack people (they really don’t).  A character dies of a heart attack after seeing something scary in a window.

There were two instances where two teenagers kiss—once in a car and once in a bedroom.  The descriptions were things like they stayed inside the car “doing things that teenagers did in dark cars”, and the bed creaking while in the bedroom.



Mature Subject Matter:  

The themes were more moderate as it dealt with ghosts and the supernatural, death and murder, overwhelming hate and anger, mean thoughts/feelings, bullying, feeling left out, sisters, friendship, and ultimately forgiveness. The parents of one character consider taking her to a psychiatrist because she can hear ghosts.  A character tries to have a séance.  The overall tone is very tense and maintains a chillingly spooky ambiance, but it is well done and stays clean!



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

***



Reviewed By Emily
No image available