Every so often I get the urge to go back and re-read one of my beloved childhood books see how different it is now that I'm an adult. Because of this, I was really excited and surprised to see Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn cross the shelf at my branch. This was my FAVORITE scary book when I was a tween and I just had to give it a read. This book frightened me back then and I am happy to say that 20ish years later it is just as spooky as I remembered, a perfect Halloween read for any older child looking for a good scare.
Molly and her brother Michael are less than happy when their mother announces that they will be moving to an old church in rural Maine with her new husband, Dave, and his spoiled rotten and somewhat spooky daughter, Heather. Molly, who is afraid of her own shadow, is even less happy when they arrive and she discovers an old cemetery right in their back yard! Soon Heather is acting even more strangely than usual, claiming that she has made friends with a ghost girl named Helen who would make Molly and Michael ever regret being mean to her. Though no one believes her about the ghost girl, Molly is convinced that Helen is planning to harm Heather and vows to protect her stepsister, no matter how horrible she acts.
On top of being a wonderful ghost story, Wait Till Helen Comes contains some good lessons about love, forgiveness and family. Despite being 25 years old, I still suggest this book to my tweens who are looking for books of scary tales and am always rewarded when they come back with stories of staying up all night in order to find out what happens when Helen finally comes.