Tagline: It's not supposed to be this scary!
Cover: I should adopt that tagline for this blog. Meanwhile, can we talk about what Hannie's wearing? I don't know what's going on with her jeans. They are super baggy and her crotch is off to one side. And the way the shirt is drawn, it looks like she's pregnant but instead of wearing maternity pants she is just wearing really really big ones that don't fit at all and will likely fall down. Also, Nancy gets to hold on to Karen's hand, but Hannie has to hold on to Karen's coat. I guess we know who's higher up in the friend hierarchy (although, really, Karen has probably known Hannie her whole life and has only known Nancy for a year or two, in actual time).
Plot!: It's Halloween again, and Ms. Colman's class is making a haunted house in Karen's neighbourhood. It's a lot of fun for everyone until Karen starts hearing spooky noises, and that doesn't take much to get Karen's ghost-obsessed mind to run away with her and accuse Drucilla, Morbidda Destiny's granddaughter, of being behind the pranks. In the end, though, it turns out that the noises were made by Charlie and Sam...except one bucket of ashes that is unaccounted for! Spooky!
Points of interest:
- Whenever I hear the word spooky, I think of the X-Files. I loved that show.
- Karen and Hannie start out the book being Leaf Monsters. Karen points out that she is not normally a leaf monster, but a mild-mannered seven year old. I would never describe Karen as mild-mannered.
- Karen wants to be Cinderella for Halloween. Hannie wants to be a butterfly.
- Aw, their school has a Halloween parade. We had one of those at my elementary school and it really was a lot of fun. Looking back, it was one of the best educational time-wasters that also did not cost any money.
- Druscilla and her mom move back in with Morbidda Destiny, who I guess is Druscilla's mom's mom. Karen is convinced that Druscilla is a witch in training. I have a very clear memory of reading Karen's Little Witch (I think that's its name) at my Grandparents' house, lying in a bunk bed looking at the stickers that came with it.
- In one illustration of Hannie, she is wearing a hockey jersey in her classroom.
For no reason at all.
- Anyway, conveniently the city owns a house on Karen and Hannie's street that Karen and Hannie already think is haunted, and Hannie's family is going to run a haunted house. Where is the BSC to butt their nose in?
- Karen's class signs up to make one of the rooms.
- Karen is convinced that Druscilla is a witch in training because she wears all black. Maybe that's just her personal style, like Stephanie from the Sleepover Friends series.
- When Karen tells Morbidda Destiny about the haunted house, Morbidda Destiny freaks out and starts yammering about the bats. Apparently that house is a haven for bats, and the haunted house will disturb them. Uh, what was she planning on doing if someone BOUGHT the house?
- Also, is Morbidda Destiny's house a mansion like all of the other ones on the block? If so, where did she get all her money?
- Charlie and Sam are going through this weird competitive phase where they argue all the time. It's so strange to see people acting like normal teenage siblings.
- Addie, who has cerebral palsy (if my memory is correct), is in a wheelchair, and some high school boys carried her wheelchair upstairs. Is that even safe? What if there's an emergency? Couldn't Karen's class get a room on the ground floor?
- Ms. Colman has a daughter, Jane, who she brought along to decorating the haunted house. In Karen's Snow Day, she was just getting engaged! Ms. Colman moves fast.
- Pest control has determined that the bats are free and full of disease. Well, that's a relief! And I guess they just poop outside, because isn't bat poop really dangerous? And icky?
- Watson and Elizabeth decide they will buy bat houses for their yard. Maybe they could get some bat mansions.
- Karen flies off the handle at Druscilla, who had the audacity to want to be Cinderella for Halloween, even though Karen ALREADY DECIDED to be Cinderella, and there can only be ONE CINDERELLA in the whole wide world, and Druscilla should have known that even though Karen didn't even TELL HER, EVERYONE should know what Karen is thinking.
- Karen becomes convinced that Druscilla is trying to scare her at the haunted house because of the whole costume thing, and because the world revolves around Karen.
- Hannie keeps pushing that the real culprit is a ghost.
- It turns out that Druscilla wasn't behind the haunting, because she was sick all weekend. Also because she's not really a witch.
- Kristy does Karen's hair for Halloween? I have a hard time picturing Kristy doing anyone's hair.
- It turns out that Karen is Cinderella AFTER her transformation and Druscilla is Cinderella BEFORE her transformation, so they're not the same after all. Wah-Waaah.
- Karen's mom only lets them eat two pieces of candy a day. That seems kind of strict, for Halloween.
- It turns out that Sam and Charlie were behind all of the weird noises and pranks at the Haunted House, because they had found hidden passageways and stuff. So it's a happy ending! And Halloween was not ruined for Karen, thank goodness.