Genre: Middle Grade, Horror
Source: Borrowed From My Granddaughter
“Folks say Old Auntie takes a girl and keeps her fifty years—then lets her go and takes another one.” 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 But Daniel’s seven-year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll.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”?
I discovered at Thanksgiving that my granddaughter Haylee and I share a love of books written by Mary Downing Hahn. She expressed a desire to read Took. She said she’d been trying to get a copy from her school library, but it was always checked out. I made sure she got one for Christmas. She and her brother Jacob spent the Wednesday through Friday with us. We took them to the library yesterday. While she sat and read books to her brother, I borrowed her book and read it. Mary Downing Hahn’s books have that special creep factor that makes all of her books good. You have a family moving into an old and creepy house. The children don’t like it. The kids at school don’t like them, and the parents are beginning to fight more and more. The author sets you up for a great scare. As you read and see how brave Daniel is, you are thinking to yourself, ‘I wouldn’t be brave enough to do that’. One thing that makes this book so good is it has an urban legend. Every area has their own urban legends. This legend is based on an actual disappearance that had happened fifty years before. Now it is happening again. Is there truly a witch in the woods?
I will definitely need to get another copy for my classroom shelves.