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 inMaureen 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
The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden 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 some
A favorite childhood read. An ornry girl dreams of being a member of the family that once lived in the spooky, old, boarded up Messerman house. She runs into a dwarf and some ghostly portraits of some very not nice sisters once she ventures in. The portraits are sinister. Original ghost story with a spooky atmosphere. It really scared me when I was little.
Some people love Christmas. The crinkly wrapping paper, the many gifts, the cookies and hot cocoa, the ham dinner.I love Halloween. When the slow fog rolled in over the lawns of suburban Detroit, and leaves fell as you walked home from school, and weekends were spent at the cider mill, you knew that Halloween was getting closer. There was a creepiness, a special feeling in the air that came with the season. I loved that special season. Not Indian Summer, not the frosty November mornings, but tru [...]
I read this as a child, and the story has stuck with me ever since. The creepy portraits of the sisters with the funny names (Lucrece, Ingrid, Maude, etc.) hanging in an abandoned old mansion sucked me right in. Even though I didn't remember the title, recently through the power of Google I was able to type in a few plot details, and voila, rediscovered the title(s) of the book. Turns out my library owned a copy, so I had to check it out. Written in 1968, this came out well before the Harry Pott [...]
During one of my various scavenging escapades in my grandparent's basement, I came across this flimsy paperback discretely tucked behind a massive heap of Nancy Drews. It's abnormally surreal for a children's novel with enticing cover art and numerous ink sketches scattered throughout its pages. I remember searching fruitlessly for my own personal Messerman place the instant I flipped the last page. It's an enjoyable historical-fiction/horror/mystery/fantasy romp for any preteen. I demand you re [...]
Fun little read for kids. A "nasty and misbehaving" little girl meets seven nasty, selfish, mean little girls who have stolen some magic. a leprechaun and (of course) used it selfishly. They have no care for anyone even their parents who tried to teach them betterbut sadly spoiled them. When they return (from their magical journey) long after their parents are dead they only morn over the state of their "nice clothes". Through all this our "first present day" little girl (Maureen), learns her le [...]
Got this one at D.I. too. It was a fast and easy read. Brandon and I were looking through cover art and titles to see what intrigued us, as well as the kids. I liked the title of this one. It was interesting, and a different way to present the naughty and "wickedness" of being selfish. I think that little ones could benefit from it. Oh, and telling lies and the consquences of that is thrown in there too.
I loved this book. I read it over and over, and it haunted me. I didn't entirely understand it the first several reads, but I didn't care. Now I want to reread this!
As children's books go, this was pretty good. I read it as a child, saw it online and wanted to read it again and it came today. It was a "big book" when I read it at about the age of 9 or 10, but tonight it only took an hour or so. First published in 1968, and it has borne up well over the years. I think today's literate 9-year-olds would enjoy it as much as I did at that age. It has all the right elements: spooky parts, time travel, mystical beings, and a nice morality tale. Author Mary Chase [...]
Second read. Still don't know why it's so beloved by some. Maureen reminds me a bit of Harriet (the Spy) and maybe even Holden Caulfield - troubled, sensitive, unhappy, unlikable, but ready to bloom is given the right impetus or at least loyal and kind to one or two special friends. Here the mysterious adventure really is a vehicle for the character's growth, and since I can't bring myself to feel empathy for M I can't enjoy the book. Doesn't help I that I can't stand Peter Sis's art style. Sorr [...]
This was fun, and a very original, imaginative, story.
In which an unpleasant young girl meets her match in seven unpleasant sisters.Why are the sisters considered so wicked? Because they are heartless? Because they shoplift pretty trinkets? Well, sure that makes them unpleasant but I wouldn't call them wicked for that. Because they send Maureen back in time and were mean to her? Well, she called them all sorts of names and took Ingrid's bracelet. The sisters did first go to Maureen's house and try asking for it back, Maureen lied and said she didn' [...]
Apparently this book was originally published in 1968, but it doesn't feel dated. It is meant for pre-teen readers, so it's a bit simpler than what I usually read, but I was still able to enjoy it. I liked the setting and mood, and the take on the bird women idea, which is always fascinating to me. For adults, some of the descriptions of things in the 'olden days' might be a little frustrating, but I think a lot of kids would probably need the explanations. The main character isn't very likeable [...]
I'd never heard of this "forgotten classic" before I picked up this retitled reissue. I see now that I wasn't missing much.The story rambles and meanders. The wicked, wicked ladies seem like they could be much more wicked, though I did enjoy the way they were introduced (via a series of portraits that hang in their ruined old house). I wish there had been other little gimmicks like that in the book, to make it stand out.If you want a book about running around in an old house, I recommend Ellen R [...]
I read this when I was young, and it was very satisfyingly creepy. I'm not sure how it stands up over time, but it was republished about 7 years ago, so this is a good sign. Also, something I just learned: Mary Chase also wrote the play Harvey, on which the James Stewart movie was based. This is also the edition I had with interesting illustrations that added to the overall aethetic feel. The new edition has different illustrations so it might be worth looking for an old copy of the original edi [...]
Horror novel for under 10. It has some genuine chills for a book for young readers. Best part is the "ornery" heroine. She's not a typical main character for children's books. She gets in to fights, talks back, and is constantly in trouble at school. She gives in to her bad impulses easily which lead her to sneak in to an old abandoned house, talk trash about the supposedly dead "seven sisters" who lived in the house, and steal a bracelet. One of the sisters follows her back to her house and dem [...]
Continuing still on my quest for a children's book about time travel that made a huge impact on me as a child . . . this was not it, but man was it as creepy as I remembered from when I was little! And can I just tell you how excited I was to find the paperback copy from my childhood upstairs in my collection? Giddy! Even giddier because my friend Anita may have found for me THE book I think I've been after: "The Ghosts," by Antonia Barber, which, according to the entry, references 'A Charm To [...]
One of the few kid-hood books that were really disturbing. The heroine is no heroine, the explainable remains that way and the wicked never get their comeuppance. These days, that sounds about perfect for some books but consider this twice before sharing with the young, impressionable imagination. These wicked ladies can return in your dreams!Please see the rest of my review at llgolden/2016/11/unpre
A reread of a lost childhood book -- I hadn't read it in probably twenty or twenty-five years. Troublemaker Maureen Swanson gets into trouble herself when she trespasses in an old abandoned house and gets mixed up with the seven mysterious sisters who inhabit it. It's not as scary as I remembered it (what a shock), and I wished the plot were a little more complex and interestingly worked out, but the atmosphere Chase creates is still deliciously creepy and memorable.
I adored this book as a kid. I can remember getting it in one of those book orders from school. I loved the days the teacher would say the orders were in, and pass out our books at days end! This was one of those books, and I have very fond memories of reading it and being spooked by the mysterious ladies in the portraits who moved.
This was fun. I love the imagination.
Now titled, "The Wicked, Wicked Ladies of the Haunted House. " The first scary book I ever read. Though about it for years, loved it.
Very weird but good to read at least once.
A bit dated. I love the wicked ladies, but the moral is a bit heavy-handed, as it often is in the real older kids books. I prefer fake-older books, they're more subversive.
I first read this about 50 years ago in 4th grade, and again in 7th or 8th grade and now once more the other night and it is still gives me the chills and has me watching out for pigeons. My recent reading of the Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden was enjoyable, scary, and now as an adult a quick read of a favorite childhood book.
One of my earliest favorite books from childhood that has haunted me since reading it in the elementary school library instead of shelving books like the librarian told me to do.
super freaky scary story. Loved it!! still makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
Nine year old Maureen Swanson lives with her parents and older siblings, Diane, sixteen, and Henry, fourteen. Maureen is “a hard slapper, a shouter, a loud laugher, a liar, a trickster, and a stay-after-schooler” with a reputation as the scourge of the neighborhood. Sometimes when she passes the old Messerman Place, reputed to be haunted, she imagines that she is Maureen Messerman–rich, privileged, and powerful. While hiding after spraying the neighbor, Mrs. Moody, with the hose, Maureen f [...]
Very popularly requested on Stump the Bookseller.
So, there I was: eight years old, bored out of my mind, and looking through stacks of my mom's old books from her teaching days. She would buy books and keep them in a little library for her students. She quit teaching once she became a mom, but kept all of the books. My mom is cool.Anyway, I recalled seeing this book on previous occasions and thinking it would be too scary. After all, the ladies weren't just wicked. They were wicked wicked.Boredom won out over fear and I bravely opened the book [...]
The original title for this book is The Wicked Pigeons Ladies In The Garden. I must say, the retitle is much more grabbing, although the ladies are not really quite so wicked as such a doubling implies. "Wicked" is a nebulous description anyway;(view spoiler)[I agree that it is wicked to be so selfish and materially obsessed, not to mention wrong-headed. Choosing pigeons as one's manifestation of power is not wicked, but it is wacky. (hide spoiler)]Maureen is a great character whose temperament [...]