Meg and Sue, two sisters who have recently moved from England to Long Island, New York, go to an evening Halloween party at their school. Meg is grumpy because she isn't having much fun. Even though she's older, she's been having much more difficulty adjusting to their new life than Sue, and she resents Sue for having lots of friends already. Meg takes her bad mood out on her sister, and then, when Kenny the bully begins teasing her, she humiliates him in front of everyone.
Meg runs from the school, followed by Sue, with Kenny hot on their heels. As he grows closer, they duck into a creepy, dilapidated old cottage and find themselves in a strange place and time, on an adventure with living legends from Celtic mythology that are amazing and dreadful - and undeniably dangerous.
I had vague memories of reading this book when it first came out, and when I came across it in my library recently, I thought it might be a fun RIP Challenge book, so I brought it home to reread. I enjoyed the intertwining of mythology with the present day, and I think young readers would be intrigued and eager to learn more about it. I did find Meg to be a difficult character to like, however, and she came close to losing my sympathy altogether. Yet her grit and determination made me stick with her - not to mention the tension and pace of the story. This would make a good Halloween read-aloud. It's creepy and exciting, and the mythological references give it a depth that readers are sure to appreciate.
This was an excellent book to start my RIP III Challenge with. Click here for links to other RIP III reviews!
On All Hallows' Eve by Grace Chetwin (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1984)