Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Book Review: The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Author: Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Source: My library
Challenge: Newbery Reading Challenge
When the four Stanley children meet Amanda, their new stepsister, they’re amazed to learn that she studies witchcraft. It’s not long before Amanda promises to give witchcraft lessons to David, Jamie, and the twins. But that’s when unusual things start happening in their old house. David suspects Amanda of causing mischief, until the children learn that the house really was haunted long ago. Legend has it that a ghost cut the head off of a wooden cupid on the stairway. Has the ghost returned to strike again?
Reading Level: Ages 8 and up
The other day at work, I was going through the ALA list of Newbery Award winners and honorees, and checking to see if I had them in our library. I made a list of the ones that we didn't have that I wanted to order, and I also made a list of the books we had that just needed a newer copy. The Headless Cupid was a book that we did not have, and when I read the summary, I was intrigued!
Life is never quite the same again for eleven-year-old David after the arrival of his new stepsister, a student of the occult.
A student of the occult? Say what? I went ahead and ordered it, and when it came in, I took it home to read, and found that I really liked it. I wish I would have read it when I was younger, because it was exactly what I enjoyed reading even then.
David is a sweet kid, who at 11 is shouldering a lot of responsibility, and takes care of his three younger siblings quite a bit. Their mother is deceased, and his father is recently remarried. His stepmom is around, but is usually preoccupied with her work. Then one day his stepmother's daughter Amanda arrives, complete with a pet crow.
I think that the students at my school will enjoy this book, even though this book is older than me! It is scary without being too scary, and although Amanda seems like a questionable character, she is just a kid going through some tough stuff, and dealing with it the best she can. Her life is out of control, and she is looking for a way to gain some control back. I believe that Amanda and David are characters that students today can still relate to, and will enjoy the spooky mystery aspects as well.