Howard's House Is Haunted


79 pages
ISBN 0-590-74559-X
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Janet Wilson
Translated by François Renaud
Reviewed by Jean Free

Jean Free, formerly an elementary-school teacher-librarian, is currently
a library consultant in Ontario.


Howard is afraid of almost everything—“ghosts, spiders, creaky
noises, slithery snakes, bullies, basements and the dark.” Then his
parents decide to move into a 29-room house, known to be haunted, on
Walnut Street. Howard (“Fraidy Brady” to his friends) enlists the
help of the school bully, Punch, whose pet snake they leave to frighten
the ghost. When this is not successful, Howard tries leaving food and he
and the ghost write notes to each other. Finally, on Halloween, three
friends come to trap the ghost and discover it is a poor writer who has
lived in the house for years.

Maureen Bayless has written a humorous, entertaining story certain to
appeal to Grade 4 students. She examines the common problems of the
school bully as Howard learns to confront his fears. Illustrations by
Janet Wilson reflect the character of the story and add depth to the
writing. This book would be a useful addition to a mystery unit or just
a good read for youngsters looking for a quality mystery. Recommended.


Bayless, Maureen., “Howard's House Is Haunted,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,