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Mary Downing Hahn

Biography

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children's librarian, has been writing children's books for over thirty years and is a perennial favorite with readers. Her books have sold more than 2 million copies and consistently win state children's choice awards. Mary's work spans a variety of genres—historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and fantasy—but she is best known for her ghost stories and mysteries. 
 
Beginning with WAIT TILL HELEN COMES, now a classic that has been in print, selling steadily, for over twenty years, Ms. Hahn has created an oeuvre of well-loved spine-chilling tales including THE DOLL IN THE GARDEN, A TIME FOR ANDREW, and THE OLD WILLIS PLACE. Always spooky, but never overly frightening, Mary "has mastered the art of the not-too-creepy ghost story" (Kirkus Reviews). WHERE I BELONG is her newest book, and tells the story of 12-year-old Brendan, a classic underachiever who retreats into his fantasy world and then faces the long and demanding journey to a real world where he belongs.
 
An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Mary lives in Maryland, the state where she was born and raised and the setting of many of her books. She has two grown daughters.

Mary Downing Hahn

Books by Mary Downing Hahn

by Mary Downing Hahn - Children's 10-12, Fiction, Horror

A family moves into an old, abandoned house. Jules's parents love the house, but Jules is frightened and feels a sense of foreboding. When she sees a pale face in an upstairs window, though, she can't stop wondering about the eerie presence on the top floor --- in a room with a locked door. Could it be someone who lived in the house a century earlier? Her fear replaced by fascination, Jules is determined to make contact with the mysterious figure and help unlock the door. Past and present intersect as she and her ghostly friend discover the fate of the family who lived in the house all those many years ago.

by Mary Downing Hahn - Children's 10-12, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie's friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. 

by Mary Downing Hahn - Children's, Children's 10-12, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Youth Fiction

On a cold, snowy night, 13-year-old Haswell Magruder makes a fateful decision. A wounded Confederate soldier appears at the family’s Virginia farm, and Haswell convinces his mother to take the man in, despite the dire repercussions if the enemy Yankees were to catch them in such an act. Unfortunately, this sets off a horrific chain of events that leaves their house burned to the ground and their farm in ruins. With no home left, Haswell sets out in search of his older brother, a Confederate soldier.

by Mary Downing Hahn - Children's 8-12, Horror, Mystery

Thirteen-year-old Daniel Anderson doesn’t believe Brody Mason’s crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid...a “stuck-up snot” from Connecticut. But Daniel’s 7 year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll. When she disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been “took”?

by Mary Downing Hahn - Fantasy

No one is kind to sixth-grader Brendan Doyle: his foster mother, his teachers, his classmates, and especially the thugs who bully him. He takes refuge in books, drawing, carving, and daydreaming. When Brendan stumbles upon an old man near his tree house in the Virginia woods, he is quick to believe that this is the magical Green Man, guardian spirit of the forest. Brendan's need to immerse himself in his fantasy world becomes more acute, until he meets a girl with secrets of her own who may just keep his feet on the ground

by Mary Downing Hahn - Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult 10+

Michael and Molly's sister Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning them that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can't get any worse. But they do --- when Helen comes.