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About Mary Downing Hahn
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On a cold, snowy night, Haswell Magruder makes a decision that will have a profound effect on his own life as well as the lives of all those he loves. A wounded Confederate soldier appears at the family’s Virginia farm, and Haswell convinces his mother and sister to take the man in, despite the certain repercussions if the enemy Yankees were to catch them in such a “traitorous” act. Unfortunately, this is precisely what happens, setting off a horrific chain of events that leaves Haswell’s mother dead and the farmhouse burned to the ground.
After leading his younger sister to safety with relatives, Haswell sets out on his journey in search of his older brother, a Confederate soldier. His quest is also a passage into manhood, as he experiences the last bloody days of the Civil War. Skillful storytelling, well-developed characters, and a fast-paced plot distinguish this compelling family story by an award-winning author.
When sixteen-year-old Cynda goes to stay with her father and his second wife, Susan, at their remote bed-and-breakfast inn in Maine, everything starts off well despite legends about ghosts and a murder at the inn. But Cynda feels like a visitor in Dad's new life, an outsider. Then intense, handsome stranger Vincent Morthanos arrives at the inn and seems to return Cynda's interest. At first she is blind to the subtle, insistent signs that Vincent is not what he seems-that he is, in fact, a vampire. Can Cynda free herself-and her family-from Vincent's power before it's too late? Full-bodied characterizations and page-turning suspense ensure that this eerie, riveting novel will appeal to middle school fans of mystery and horror.
In Following My Own Footsteps, sixth-grader Gordy Smith comes to grips with the fear that he’ll turn out no better than his abusive father . . .
With his father now in jail and one brother hospitalized, Gordy’s mother has no choice but to take the family to their wealthy grandmother’s house in North Carolina. There Gordy meets William, a boy who had polio and is now wheelchair bound. Though they become friends, Gordy’s plans to help William fail spectacularly. Matters only get worse when Gordy’s father is released from prison and his mother is poised to give him a second chance. Gordy must decide where he belongs—with his dysfunctional parents or with the grandma who is more than his match in toughness, in courage, and in love.
“A cast of unforgettable characters inhabit this work, seasoned with WW II setting but utterly contemporary in its concerns. Hahn is in top form, proving through Gordy’s first-person narration that real love can triumph over all kinds of adversity, and often does.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The complex characterizations, period setting and Gordy’s brave attempts to break a cycle of violence will hold readers’ interest.”—Publishers Weekly
“It’s a timeless social issue really, in any era, of having a dysfunctional abusive parent . . . A very good story showcasing complex friendships, familial relationships, and inner conflict, all set in WW2 America.”—Cats and Fiction
At the same time that Matt and Parker find the body of the dead man in the creek, they recognize George Evans, the owner of the antique shop where Parker's mother works.
Gordy couldn't be more unhappy about moving back to his hometown of College Hill, where everybody knows his family's troubled history. In North Carolina, Gordy's life had finally seemed to be on the right track. But in College Hill, Gordy and his sister, June, move into a cramped apartment with their brother Stu and his new family. The principal at Gordy's school immediately has it in for him, his old pals encourage him to cause trouble, and his one-time nemesis, Elizabeth, hates him more than ever. It seems to Gordy as though the whole world is against him. Will he slip back into his old trouble-making ways for good, or will he be able to keep growing into the successful person he was striving to become?