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The Wicked, Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House
The Wicked, Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House | Mary Chase
4 posts | 3 read | 4 to read
Maureen Swanson is the scourge of the neighborhood. At age nine, she already has a reputation as a hard slapper, a loud laugher, a liar, and a stay-after-schooler. The other kids call her Stinky. So sometimes when Maureen passes the crumbling (and haunted?) Messerman mansion, she imagines that she is Maureen Messerman–rich, privileged, and powerful. Then she finds a way into the forbidden, boarded-up house. In the hall are portraits of seven young women wearing elaborate gowns and haughty expressions. Maureen has something scathing to say to each one, but then she notices that the figures seem to have shifted in their frames. So she reaches out her finger to touch the paint–just to make sure–and touches . . . silk! These seven daughters of privilege are colder and meaner than Maureen ever thought to be. They are wicked, wicked ladies, and Maureen has something they want. . . .
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Anyone else like to read on the stairs? It's one of my favourite places. I've done it since I was a kid, not sure why. 🤷
This middle grade novel was written by Denver writer who was quite successful in her day. (She wrote the play Harvey and won a Pulitzer.) But she's never mentioned in discussions of local literary history. I guess she's no Jack Kerouac or Hunter S. Thompson. 🙄

batsy Yup, me too! 4w
batsy Also, this book sounds great. 4w
merelybookish @batsy You and @lindy! I'm in good company! 🤗 4w
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LeahBergen Ohhh! I haven‘t seen this cover before! 4w
merelybookish @LeahBergen I saw that you posted about this book just a few weeks ago. Funny! This edition is from 2005. 4w
Leftcoastzen The description sounds awesome! 4w
merelybookish @batsy @Leftcoastzen I finished it this morning and it was great! I think it's interesting how fantasy is often dangerous/malevolent in American children's lit. Unlike in British books where the fantasy world is usually better. 4w
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#MyGeneration sure loved Scholastic Book Services.

Well, okay... I loved Scholastic Book Services. These are all from my childhood bookshelf. 😆😆


Aimeesue Helen Keller was my childhood hero. I made my parents take me to her childhood home for a tour on a trip to Alabama when I was 7 or 8. But I would REALLY like to read about those wicked, wicked ladies! (edited) 2mo
Crazeedi I adored scholastic book services! Taking the flyer home and getting to pick a book, and if I was lucky maybe 2!! (There were 6 kids in my family). And then turning in the order and waiting for the day I got it. That was heaven😍 2mo
Mdargusch I can‘t believe you still have them! Lucky you! I couldn‘t wait for my girls to bring home those forms 💗 2mo
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emilyhaldi Those are fab!!! 2mo
Billypar I loved this too! I remember going over the catalog with my mom and making my selections: one of my earliest memories of book decisions. And when they came in- as exciting then as it is now 😁 2mo
TheLudicReader I loved Scholastic, too. (Still love getting the fliers at school.) There just weren't bookstores like there are now. At least not where I lived. 2mo
Billypar @Aimeesue Did you see the original title? I guess the publisher was thinking that kids would choose doubly wicked ladies in a haunted house more than wicked pigeon ladies in a garden? I have so many questions...😂 2mo
bookishdawg Great post - love seeing the “Wicked Ladies”! This was one of my first faves and finally tracked down a copy on eBay ❤️ 2mo
Cinfhen Now you‘re talking!!!! The original BOTM club! 😜 2mo
CatLass007 Loved Scholastic! I‘d buy 12-15 books every month. 2mo
Aimeesue @Billypar I guess kids don't think gardens are scary any mor. 😂 2mo
Melissa_J Loved the scholastic order forms and book fairs! 2mo
rubyslippersreads Now I want to track down A Sound of Crying. 😊 (edited) 2mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads I‘m afraid to reread it in case it‘s not as good as I remember. 😆 2mo
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen Did you know it‘s the first in a series? 2mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads No! Really?? I‘ve never looked up the author before (it‘s always just been on my “childhood reads” shelf)! 2mo
rubyslippersreads I also used to have a copy of The Wicked Ladies, but when an editor on the Betsy-Tacy listserv was looking for a copy they could use to republish it, I donated mine for the cause. 😊 1mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads Well, you certainly did your good bookish deed and book karma will reward you. 😆😆 1mo
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Did you have a favorite book as a child that you still have? Or (as in my case) you tracked down as an adult. This was my sister‘s book and when I found the exact same edition in a second hand book shop I just had to buy it.

LeahBergen This was one of my favourites, too!! 👏🏻👏🏻 1y
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#FunFridayPhoto My favorite grade school teacher read this aloud to our class when it was called "The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden." Loved the prickly heroine and twists throughout. ❤️