The Girl Behind the Glass, by Jane Kelley

Looking for a spooky read to offer an eleven or so year old girl? I just read one I'd recommend--The Girl Behind the Glass, by Jane Kelley (Random House, 2011, ages 9-12, 192 pages).

For years the house on Hemlock Ave. stood empty and decaying. No-one managed to live there for long, and stories were told about green eyes that could sometimes be seen, looking out. Eleven year-old twins Anna and Hannah would have been happy to leave the house to its own devices forever. They had no desire to move into it, but move they must....an event welcomed by the ghost of a long dead girl with whom they share their new home.

Anna settles in nicely at school, but Hannah, in a different class from her sister for the first time ever, remains unhappy, and slowly the girls drift apart. Her unhappiness, and loneliness, makes her the prime target for the ghost, whose anger is as fresh as it was the day she died. But as Hannah unravels the mystery of what happened in the house on Hemlock Ave., the danger she is in grows, and so does the distance between herself and her twin...the ghost does not want to be left alone again.

I truly enjoyed the narrative device of this one. The reader is given both Hannah's point of view, and the perspective of the ghost....gradually and creepily, more and more clues are dropped, and more becomes clear. Because we have the ghost's point of view, it's not desperately scary--it's atmospherically spooky, but subtly so. It's a character-driven ghost story, more a psychosocial thriller rather than one that makes the reader jump with fright, which added to my personal enjoyment of it!

I always feel a tad uncertain reviewing books that have Mysteries in them, because I am both bad at figuring things out, and have a nasty habit of peeking at endings. So I can't speak to whether the mystery here was obvious to the meanest intelligence, or delightfully subtle and carefully constructed. All I can say is that I found it a page turner, and felt it all came together nicely!

(I'm adding this review to the round-up for the RIP IV (Readers Imbibing Peril) challenge, as I think it fits the bill very nicely indeed!)


  1. Haha, I like to peek at the endings of mysteries, too. (:
    Great review! Sounds like a fun read!

  2. I think I'd like this one, too. The twins especially...shades of Double Spell!

  3. I couldn't imagine peeking ahead in a book... I won't even read the back of books because I am worried it will give too much away... :)

  4. I'm with Kailana, I cannot imagine peeking ahead when reading. It is too much fun just to be surprised. And I rarely figure out mysteries but then I've never thought we were supposed to. It wouldn't be too much fun to read or watch mysteries and never be fooled at all.

    This one sounds really fun. I like atmospherically creepy stories.

    And I like the cover too.

  5. You too are obviously made of sterner stuff than I am, Kailana and Carl! I get twitchy when things get tense, and need reassurance about what's going to happen...

    I think you'd like this one, Anamaria--but the old house never becomes quite thickly described enough for me to recommend it to you as a must read!

    And thanks so much for stopping by, dooliterature! yay for fellow peekers!


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