booktalks

juvenile fictionTime for Andrew by Mary Downing Hahn [pdf : 193k]

Subjects: Space and time—Juvenile fiction; Family—Juvenile fiction
Book Lists: Gifted

Props: Cigar box, marbles, note

They said the house was haunted. It stood alone at the top of the hill, paint peeling, shutters banging, tiles fallen from the roof all over the ground. It had been built in 1865, right after the Civil War by Drew’s great-great-grandfather. It didn’t look like anyone lived in it, but Drew was moving in—in with his Great-Aunt Blythe and his Great-Grandfather who did live there. Drew was hurrying to get his backpacks out of the car because it was thundering, the wind was coming up strong and the rain was not far behind. He turned towards the house and saw a flash of white at an upstairs window, a small pale face. It vanished instantly but he couldn’t get rid of the feeling that someone was watching him. He shook himself and told himself he didn’t believe in ghosts, that he was just staying in the old house for the summer while his parents were working in France, that everything would be just fine.

Drew found an A carved in the old kitchen table. “It’s for Andrew, just like your real name,” Aunt Blythe said. “We’ve had quite a few Andrews in the family.” Great-Grandfather’s first words to Drew were, (Speak in a gruff voice) “You’ve come back. But it won’t do you any good. It’s my house now, not yours.” And to Aunt Blythe he said, “He’s a wicked boy. Send him back. I won’t have him here!’’ They told him that Great-Grandfather had mistaken him for someone else and not to worry. But he frightened Dew more even than the idea of a ghost.

The stairs to the attic were in Drew’s room. He and Aunt Blythe went up there. That’s where they found some family pictures, one of the boy named Andrew who had died when he was 12, Drew’s age. And it was easy to see, Drew looked just like him. Then they found an old cigar box. Inside were marbles and a note: (Bring out box, marbles, read note)

WARNING
The marbles belong to
Andrew Joseph Tyler
If you take them you will be sorry
7 June 1910

But Aunt Blythe was excited. She said the marbles were worth a lot of money, money they needed to fix the house. Drew begged her not to take them but she laughed at him and took them down the attic stairs.

That night, Drew was awakened. Overhead, things bumped and clattered. Someone was in the attic. Then he head footsteps coming down the stairs slowly, one step at a time. He knew who it was, he knew what he wanted. When Andrew opened the attic door, Drew could see him, could feel his flesh and bones. And Andrew did want his marbles, but he wanted more than that. He wanted Drew’s life! (Hold up book) Time For Andrew by Mary Downing Hahn.

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