Book Review: Deep and Dark and Dangerous

by Melissa on May 3, 2010 · 21 comments

in 14-17, ATOS 4.0-4.9, Horror & Suspense, Lexile 600-699

Title: Deep and Dark and Dangerous
Series: No
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Age Range: 14-17
Lexile: [?] 650L
AR Level: [?] 4.0
Formats: book
Buy From: buy from
Parents rate this book:
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Rating: 3.9/5 (18 votes cast)


Just before summer begins, thirteen-year-old Ali finds an old photograph. She recognizes the two children. One’s her mother, the other her aunt Dulcie…but who is the third person, the one who’s been torn out of the picture? Ali will have all summer to figure it out, since she’s spending the summer with her aunt and her cousin in the same house her mom and aunt used to visit when they were kids.
Then Ali meets Sissy. Sissy is mean, spiteful, and determined to ruin Ali’s summer. Sissy also has a secret. Could it have something to do with the old photo? Ali is dying to find out, and if she’s not careful, that’s exactly what might happen to her.


Despite the premise of the story, not a lot of content.  It’s a ghost story about a child who drowns.  It’s not particularly creepy, but it is scary.  (Note: I read it at night and it gave me nightmares, but I’m sensitive to such things.  :)  It may whet your kid’s appetite for more horror stories, and most are not as mild as this one.  If your child is not sensitive about ghosts, the content is mild enough that it’s likely okay for kids down to age 12.


None  [?]

Sexual Content





The cover art is pretty scary.  Ali’s little cousin has bad dreams about a skeleton, ‘the bones came out’ and has fears about drowning.  ‘Ali’s so mean, Hell wouldn’t want her.’ 


Ali’s mom is emotionally fragile and prone to tears, which Ali believes are used manipulatively.  “She’s just crying because she can’t think of anything else to do.”  Back story of two girls who lied about the death of a friend.


A little girl is a ghost and wants her story to be told and to be properly buried.

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Book Review: Deep and Dark and Dangerous, 3.9 out of 5 based on 18 ratings

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Mackenzie Peloquin January 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I am nine years old and im reading Deep And Dark And Dangerous. I absoulutly understand it . I love it. So i do not know why it says it is for people 12 years and up.

jaime oneal November 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm

that was the sadest story i ever read the move scared me.

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