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Guest: A Changeling Tale

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From the master of spookiness, Mary Downing Hahn. When malicious sprites called the Kinde Folke snatch Mollie’s baby brother and replace him with a hideous changeling, Mollie travels through eerie, perilous lands to save him.   When her adorable baby brother is replaced by an ugly, ill-tempered changeling, Mollie is determined to find the so-called Kinde Folke who too From the master of spookiness, Mary Downing Hahn. When malicious sprites called the Kinde Folke snatch Mollie’s baby brother and replace him with a hideous changeling, Mollie travels through eerie, perilous lands to save him.   When her adorable baby brother is replaced by an ugly, ill-tempered changeling, Mollie is determined to find the so-called Kinde Folke who took baby Thomas, return the changeling she calls Guest, and make them give Thomas back. Natural and magical obstacles and her own reckless temperament make her journey arduous and full of dangers, and a plot rich in surprises and twists makes this book a must-read for Mary Downing Hahn’s fans.


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From the master of spookiness, Mary Downing Hahn. When malicious sprites called the Kinde Folke snatch Mollie’s baby brother and replace him with a hideous changeling, Mollie travels through eerie, perilous lands to save him.   When her adorable baby brother is replaced by an ugly, ill-tempered changeling, Mollie is determined to find the so-called Kinde Folke who too From the master of spookiness, Mary Downing Hahn. When malicious sprites called the Kinde Folke snatch Mollie’s baby brother and replace him with a hideous changeling, Mollie travels through eerie, perilous lands to save him.   When her adorable baby brother is replaced by an ugly, ill-tempered changeling, Mollie is determined to find the so-called Kinde Folke who took baby Thomas, return the changeling she calls Guest, and make them give Thomas back. Natural and magical obstacles and her own reckless temperament make her journey arduous and full of dangers, and a plot rich in surprises and twists makes this book a must-read for Mary Downing Hahn’s fans.

30 review for Guest: A Changeling Tale

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest GUEST is a middle-grade novel about faerie folklore, and reminiscent of stories like Mirrormask or Labyrinth, in which the fairy tale is an allegory for a coming-of-age morality play. It definitely reads as though it is written for a young audience, but it doesn't condescend to its audience, either, and would appeal to readers of Diana Wynne Jones or Vivian Vande Velde. Mollie is the daughter of two peasants, and her parents have recently had another baby, Thomas. Thomas is a beautiful, good-natured child, an Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest GUEST is a middle-grade novel about faerie folklore, and reminiscent of stories like Mirrormask or Labyrinth, in which the fairy tale is an allegory for a coming-of-age morality play. It definitely reads as though it is written for a young audience, but it doesn't condescend to its audience, either, and would appeal to readers of Diana Wynne Jones or Vivian Vande Velde. Mollie is the daughter of two peasants, and her parents have recently had another baby, Thomas. Thomas is a beautiful, good-natured child, and her superstitious parents have taken precautions to ensure that his presence doesn't catch the attention of the faeries who live in the nearby forest. Mollie screws all that up, though, by wishing him away, praising his beauty, and then stealing the charm of protection from him because she thinks it's a pretty bauble and selfishly wants it for herself. Spoiler, as you can guess from the title and the blurb, this does not work out well. The baby is stolen and replaced with a changeling that they end up calling Guest, because he's an unwelcome visitor the family wants gone as soon as possible. Abandoning or killing him is out of the question, because ill-treatment to the changeling means ill-treatment for the human child, so Mollie's father storms out in a man-baby temper tantrum, leaving Mollie's mother to care for him in an increasingly exhausted stupor. Mollie feels sick with guilt, but isn't above treating Guest badly herself, resenting and insulting him by turns, while plotting all the while on how to retrieve Thomas. The journey element of this was really well done. I liked how this story was steeped in folklore, and it kind of reminded me of this book I read when I was really young, Bruce Coville's SONG OF THE WANDERER. It has that same epic-fantasy-for-kids vibe, which I found nostalgic and appealing. Mollie is a terrible character, though. I hated her. She was so selfish, and stupid. I get that kids can be dumb, but she literally made the same exact mistake 10 times. It was hard to suffer. Guest, on the other hand, is a really great character and by the end of the story, I basically adored him. Anyone who enjoys middle grade novels or has a kid who enjoys them, and would like a fantasy novel that is easy to read but does not talk down to its young audience will probably enjoy this book a lot. I don't normally go in for middle grade novels, but I thought this was well done and pays homage to faerie folklore in an informed way. It even has elements of Tam Lin, which I liked. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 3 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Misty Mount

    "Guest" by Mary Downing Hahn is a middle-grade fantasy adventure inspired by Irish folklore. I was charmed by the main character, Mollie Cloverall—a brave, spirited young girl who also has her flaws. In fact, it's partially her jealousy that allows her baby brother Thomas to be replaced by a mean and ugly changeling. Her parents don't handle the tragedy well at all. Her father leaves his family and her mother falls into illness and depression. Mollie, however, takes a different approach and is "Guest" by Mary Downing Hahn is a middle-grade fantasy adventure inspired by Irish folklore. I was charmed by the main character, Mollie Cloverall—a brave, spirited young girl who also has her flaws. In fact, it's partially her jealousy that allows her baby brother Thomas to be replaced by a mean and ugly changeling. Her parents don't handle the tragedy well at all. Her father leaves his family and her mother falls into illness and depression. Mollie, however, takes a different approach and is determined to get her brother back. She bravely embarks on a dangerous quest and grows along the way. I loved the characters in this book, especially Guest, even though I felt that some of them could have been elaborated on. This is one of those stories that I wish I had read as a child because I know it would have inspired my young mind. Even as an adult this story has lots to give and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, fairy tales, and strong female characters.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

    Review shortly. :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Y-Nhu

    It's a really enjoyable read and once I started I couldn't put it down! I finished it in one sitting. I did have a problem with some characters and their decisions, but I just fell in love with Guest and that made it a 4 star rating instead of a 3 star. I really did not expect to get invested into this book like I did.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richelle Robinson

    "I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review." First time reading this author and she can definitely write a story. The description was very vivid and it felt like I was along side the characters which I enjoyed. The main character, Mollie, annoyed me since she kept making the same mistakes over and over after she was warned. I know she is a kid but come on. You hav "I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review." First time reading this author and she can definitely write a story. The description was very vivid and it felt like I was along side the characters which I enjoyed. The main character, Mollie, annoyed me since she kept making the same mistakes over and over after she was warned. I know she is a kid but come on. You have to smarten up. I like the message of not judging someone because they are different and to treat people with kindness. I think kids will enjoy this book a lot especially since Halloween is coming and it has a spooky vibe.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review purposes. All opinions are my own. I am not always a huge MDH fan, but let me tell you, her books FLY off of my middle school collections shelves. I have multiple copies of most of her books on the shelves and they are in constant rotation with students turning one in and grabbing another. So when I saw that MDH had a new book coming out, one that wasn't going to fit in with her tradition Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review purposes. All opinions are my own. I am not always a huge MDH fan, but let me tell you, her books FLY off of my middle school collections shelves. I have multiple copies of most of her books on the shelves and they are in constant rotation with students turning one in and grabbing another. So when I saw that MDH had a new book coming out, one that wasn't going to fit in with her traditional "horror" fare, I was intrigued. While she also has other types of books, it is her ghost stories that my students crave the most. This one, a story of a changeling, and the "fair folk" had me intrigued. Overall it was a solid middle grade fantasy about the faeries and what happens when they leave a changeling behind. Molly knows she is supposed to watch out for her brother Thomas. No on in her family can speak kindly of him, talk about his sweet temperament or his beautiful face for fear the Kinde Folk will come for him and leave one of their own sickly creatures in his place. But, one day, she turns her back and he is gone, a small and evil-seeming baby in his place. For a year they try to keep the new baby happy, hoping that by doing so the Kinde Folk will treat Thomas in kind. But nothing seems to make him happy and the family is falling apart. Determined to get Thomas back, she takes Guest (as they call the new baby) and sets out for the Dark Lands to find the Kinde Folk and make a trade. Along the way Molly has to realize what it means to care for someone, what it means to be family, and how appearances aren't always what they seem. Highly recommend, especially for those readers who are interested in tales about dark magic and places, but aren't ready yet for something like The Cruel Prince . Recommended for grades 5-8.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Barrera

    Mollie's baby brother Thomas has been stolen and switched with a changeling in his place and it's all her fault. If Mollie hadn't of taken the locket for herself that was meant to protect Thomas, none of this would of happened. With her father gone in the event of what has happened and the changeling weakening her mother, Mollie takes the changeling determined to give the creature back and get her brother back. But, not all goes as planned. There's twists and trickery in the Dark Lands Mollie's baby brother Thomas has been stolen and switched with a changeling in his place and it's all her fault. If Mollie hadn't of taken the locket for herself that was meant to protect Thomas, none of this would of happened. With her father gone in the event of what has happened and the changeling weakening her mother, Mollie takes the changeling determined to give the creature back and get her brother back. But, not all goes as planned. There's twists and trickery in the Dark Lands and getting her brother back may not be as easy as she'd hoped. I enjoyed the characters and the story. I was curious of Madog and what he was and how he fit into the story. As for Guest, he grew on me and I found him to be my favorite character. As for Mollie, I somewhat felt for her, but at other times I was cringing at her choices and how the same choices had gotten her in trouble even when Guest had warned her time and time again. Although I enjoyed this story, I did feel it was a little rushed, as I would of loved a little more detail into the characters and the events. Other than that, it was a good story. I will definitely be checking out more from this author.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Conny

    This book made it to a new shelf, Best This Year Shelf. Should be 6 stars shelf ... I LOVED this book so much, I'm not deleting it from my reader. I'm gonna read it again some day for sure. In the end I shed a tear, gonna miss Guest, I love him so much. Loved the whole place, the woods, the magic in it... What a wonderful, magical story. Best book I've read this year.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    If you are a fan of folk lore tales than you need to check out this book. It is about a changeling. I have read several books on this subject but I have to say this is in my top three favorites. What I loved the most about this book is how author, Mary stayed close to the real legends of stories about changelings and other folk lore. Some of the other books that I have read on this subject were a bit more "fictional". Mollie's compassion towards Guest was kind. It showed that love can If you are a fan of folk lore tales than you need to check out this book. It is about a changeling. I have read several books on this subject but I have to say this is in my top three favorites. What I loved the most about this book is how author, Mary stayed close to the real legends of stories about changelings and other folk lore. Some of the other books that I have read on this subject were a bit more "fictional". Mollie's compassion towards Guest was kind. It showed that love can be found in even the "ugliest" of things. In addition, Guest's ability to adapt and learn to be good made him more than just a changeling. It brought me the reader closer to him. I could not stop reading this book. I was transported on the journey with Mollie as she went in search of her stolen brother. I look forward to reading more books from this author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Johnston

    I was hooked on this book just from reading the description. The fabulous writing style kept me hooked and reading straight through to the end. I completed my Masters thesis on Newfoundland folklore which is also very rich in fairylore so I was in heaven, henny! But here are some reason why YOU will want to read this novel: *Brilliantly (and accurately) explores the idea of changlings, the fairy realm, and some of "the rules" of interacting with Faire and Kinde folk. * I was hooked on this book just from reading the description. The fabulous writing style kept me hooked and reading straight through to the end. I completed my Masters thesis on Newfoundland folklore which is also very rich in fairylore so I was in heaven, henny! But here are some reason why YOU will want to read this novel: *Brilliantly (and accurately) explores the idea of changlings, the fairy realm, and some of "the rules" of interacting with Faire and Kinde folk. *The author includes an endnote going more into depth about the folklore of fairies and the origins of some of the other creatures we meet in the story. A great invitation for readers to find out more about folktales? I think so! *The characters' development and evolution is fantastic and the reader will truly enjoy the experience of walking alongside them during their journey. The only negative aspect I found about this novel was that parts of it felt too easy and convenient. For example, when help is offered by one of the Kinde folk, it came completely out of nowhere. There was no previous introduction to this particular character, no knowing glances shared between them and the main character, just BAM. Here I am and I will save you! For me, dear readers, this caused a fair amount of confusion and suspicion. Where did this Kinde folk come from? Why are they offering help? Are they actually offering help or is this a trap? And so on, and so forth. Nonetheless, this is still an engaging story with wonderful characters that young readers will enjoy getting to know.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Liz Friend

    The story: It’s Mollie’s fault when the dark faeries kidnap her brother and leave Guest in his place--a sickly fairy halfling who does nothing but bite, pinch, eat...and break her family apart. Eventually, determined to make the fairies give her brother back in exchange for Guest, Mollie leaves home on a dangerous quest. Everyone they meet along the way means them harm, but worst of all is the Queen of the Kinde Folk...and the fact that Mollie’s brother, once discovered, doesn't believe her stor The story: It’s Mollie’s fault when the dark faeries kidnap her brother and leave Guest in his place--a sickly fairy halfling who does nothing but bite, pinch, eat...and break her family apart. Eventually, determined to make the fairies give her brother back in exchange for Guest, Mollie leaves home on a dangerous quest. Everyone they meet along the way means them harm, but worst of all is the Queen of the Kinde Folk...and the fact that Mollie’s brother, once discovered, doesn't believe her story and refuses to leave. Can Mollie’s bravery make up for her habit of speaking before she thinks? June Cleaver's ratings: Language G; Violence PG; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG; Magic & the occult PG; GLBT content G; adult themes (kidnapping, dark magic) PG; overall rating PG. Liz's comments: Hahn, known for her ghost stories for upper ES, takes a turn toward fantasy rather than horror with this story. A cool cover will draw readers in, and this dip into the mythical lore of Ireland is darkly interesting. A solid purchase for libraries with readers grades 4-7.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Valerie McEnroe

    This is my least favorite MDH book. It's a fantasy book about a changeling baby left by the Kinde folk in exchange for Mollie's sweet, adorable baby brother. I've never been much of a fan of Hahn's work personally, although I do acquire her books for my school library because they are perfect for older elementary kids moving into scary books. I've also never been much of a fan of changeling stories, but if I had to pick one it would be 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison. MDH should stick to ghost stories This is my least favorite MDH book. It's a fantasy book about a changeling baby left by the Kinde folk in exchange for Mollie's sweet, adorable baby brother. I've never been much of a fan of Hahn's work personally, although I do acquire her books for my school library because they are perfect for older elementary kids moving into scary books. I've also never been much of a fan of changeling stories, but if I had to pick one it would be 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison. MDH should stick to ghost stories. Mollie's family knows about the the kinde folk snatching babies, so they make sure someone is always watching baby Thomas. When Mollie falls asleep outside with Thomas, she awakens to find him gone. An irritable, ugly changeling baby has been left in his place. He's extremely demanding and exhausting, so Mollie decides she is going to take the changeling back and get her brother. It's a long journey to the Kinde Forest. Luckily, Mollie gets a little help from a "traveler" who provides her with food. He is unusually nice to the changeling for reasons that are explained later in the story. Once Mollie reaches the Kinde realm, she gets more help from a Kinde girl, but her brother has changed in unexpected ways and getting him back won't be easy. The plot and characters are poorly developed. I never got excited about any of it and just wanted the book to be over. There's nothing remotely spooky about this one, even though the cover suggests otherwise. MDH books are essential for every emerging horror fan, but my recommendation is to pass on this one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Martin

    NB: Contains spoilers! I can't quite decide whether I enjoyed this book or not. The positive: It was absolutely original and unusual and I didn't really know what was going to happen. It's highly atmospheric with some beautiful, evocative description. The character of Mollie is a brilliant, brave, determined heroine and engaged me from the first page. Guest himself is a fantastic creation: he moves from repellent to endearing and leaps off the page. The NB: Contains spoilers! I can't quite decide whether I enjoyed this book or not. The positive: It was absolutely original and unusual and I didn't really know what was going to happen. It's highly atmospheric with some beautiful, evocative description. The character of Mollie is a brilliant, brave, determined heroine and engaged me from the first page. Guest himself is a fantastic creation: he moves from repellent to endearing and leaps off the page. The things I didn't like: I was really uncomfortable with the character of Dadoe. Essentially, as soon as the going got tough, he upped and left his wife and young daughter to deal with it and, by the end of the book, this remained unresolved -he's back but apparently without any consequence for his cowardice. Mollie has repeated trials at the hands of the shape-shifting Kinde Folke but they all followed essentially the same pattern, which started to make them blur into one after a while. The story had all the trademarks of a traditional fairy-tale so I suppose I expected a nice, neat ending. I had to re-read the end a couple of times to make sure I'd understood it correctly. I'm glad I read 'Guest' but I still can't decide what I thought of it. I am lookig forward to its publication so I can discuss it with my students. I read an advance review copy of this title in return for an objective review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Mollie should know better than to gush over how cute her baby brother is, because everybody knows that saying a baby is cute will alert the Kinde Folk. But she can't help herself, and the next thing she knows, there's a changeling in Thomas's place - an ugly, screaming baby that exhausts her mother and drives her father away. Mollie decides that she will bring the changeling, who she names Guest, back to the Kinde Folk to try to get her brother back. With help from a traveler named Madog, Mollie Mollie should know better than to gush over how cute her baby brother is, because everybody knows that saying a baby is cute will alert the Kinde Folk. But she can't help herself, and the next thing she knows, there's a changeling in Thomas's place - an ugly, screaming baby that exhausts her mother and drives her father away. Mollie decides that she will bring the changeling, who she names Guest, back to the Kinde Folk to try to get her brother back. With help from a traveler named Madog, Mollie enters the dark forest. My friend from the local bookstore brought a stack of ARCs to the library for my teen giveaways, but I just had to read this one first! The gentle Irish setting was perfect for this tale. Mollie frustrated me to no end, ignoring every bit of advice given to her - however, I grew to love Guest and Madog. It was interesting to read this story after I read a post on Tumblr about how the tales of changelings might have been related to children with autism, and I almost wanted this story to go in that direction, but it didn't bother me that it did not. I wasn't expecting to come to love Guest so much. The cover reminded me a bit of The Replacement.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Hammond

    I found this to be terrific. It may be a middle grade tale but I'm way beyond that in years and I absolutely adored this story. I thought it was great how it followed some folklore and myths but turned them into all new stories with characters that aren't soon to be forgotten. I'm not going to tell you the story or what happens in it because you have to read it to find all that out but I'll give you the briefest of summary without spoilers. This is the story of a family that has an adorable litt I found this to be terrific. It may be a middle grade tale but I'm way beyond that in years and I absolutely adored this story. I thought it was great how it followed some folklore and myths but turned them into all new stories with characters that aren't soon to be forgotten. I'm not going to tell you the story or what happens in it because you have to read it to find all that out but I'll give you the briefest of summary without spoilers. This is the story of a family that has an adorable little baby boy but one day the baby is swapped for a changeling, which is not so adorable at all. Mollie, the babies sister, decides that she is going to return the changeling, who is named Guest, and get her brother back. She sets out on a journey that proves quite difficult for one with her temperament and stubbornness. During her journey she runs into all sorts of people and creatures, some friend some foe, and she must learn many things. This is a delightful tale that can be enjoyed by so many. I must recommend the audio book as well though. I read and listened to the audio book and it adds so much to the tale as it is told by a woman with the most incredible Irish sounding voice. She's terrific and it's nice to hear it as you read it or read it then listen to it, either way. I really enjoyed this story more than I thought I would. I hope you do as well if you read it!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. I love learning about history and this book gives readers a look at some of the folk stories that people believed in so many years ago. In this case, this story surrounds a changeling child. One family loses their beautiful baby boy and in his place they are given a changeling – a sickly, mean child that does nothing but scream and make life miserable. We learn that children believed to be a changeling are left at a crossroad to die due to fea I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. I love learning about history and this book gives readers a look at some of the folk stories that people believed in so many years ago. In this case, this story surrounds a changeling child. One family loses their beautiful baby boy and in his place they are given a changeling – a sickly, mean child that does nothing but scream and make life miserable. We learn that children believed to be a changeling are left at a crossroad to die due to fear from the fairy folk (this makes my heart sore to think of this actually happening) but in this story Thomas’ Mother cares for the changeling child in the hopes that her real son will be returned to her. Mollie feels that this is all her fault (and rightfully so due to her jealousy and reacting versus thinking her thoughts through) and will do whatever it takes to get her brother back and save her family that was torn apart by this event. She embarks on a dangerous journey and will stop at nothing to save her brother Thomas. I did not expect all of the twists that this novel takes but it is an incredible read. It is full of excitement, challenges, forgiveness and a bit of karma. This is a definite must read for tweens, teens and adults that love all books (just like me).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Sanborn

    This book is written in the style of Grimm. The characters make mistakes over and over and have to face magical consequences. There is also an element of sexism, as it appears child-rearing is entirely a female concern in this novel. However, since it is meant to be a story that takes place in an ancient Celtic setting, I will forgive. This is a story of the cruelty of the Kinde Folk, a magical people who treat humans like toys. One day, a young farm-girl named Mollie accidentally compliments he This book is written in the style of Grimm. The characters make mistakes over and over and have to face magical consequences. There is also an element of sexism, as it appears child-rearing is entirely a female concern in this novel. However, since it is meant to be a story that takes place in an ancient Celtic setting, I will forgive. This is a story of the cruelty of the Kinde Folk, a magical people who treat humans like toys. One day, a young farm-girl named Mollie accidentally compliments her baby brother's beauty, bringing the attention of the Kinde Folk upon him. He is stolen and in his place is left behind a changeling baby. The changeling is not beautiful and his behavior is terrible. He is always hungry, always biting, and always crying. Mollie's family begins to fall apart over the loss of her true brother, so Mollie bravely sets out to retrieve him from the Kinde Folk. She brings along the despised Changeling, whom her family has cruelly named "Guest," in Hope's of trading him back for her brother. This story is a testament to the power of kindness and the Golden Rule. While elements of the plot feel rushed, and Mollie's inability to see through faerie-glamour starts to feel redundant, it is overall a true faerie-tale. Ages 11+

  18. 4 out of 5

    April Taylor

    Mollie lives in a world where human baby boys have to be spoken to only with harshness or else they might be stolen by creatures from the Dark Lands. When Mollie makes a mistake by saying something kind to her baby brother Thomas, he’s whisked away and replaced with a repulsive creature known as a changeling. Eventually, Mollie decides she must rectify her mistake. She sets out on a journey to the Dark Lands to find Thomas. But the Dark Lands are a place where nothing is as it seems, which makes Mollie lives in a world where human baby boys have to be spoken to only with harshness or else they might be stolen by creatures from the Dark Lands. When Mollie makes a mistake by saying something kind to her baby brother Thomas, he’s whisked away and replaced with a repulsive creature known as a changeling. Eventually, Mollie decides she must rectify her mistake. She sets out on a journey to the Dark Lands to find Thomas. But the Dark Lands are a place where nothing is as it seems, which makes it impossible to know who to trust. This middle grade story will probably be well-received by its intended audience, especially among those who like dark fantasies. There are a few important lessons, including the importance of being open-minded and allowing others to be different. On the downside, Mollie is overly impulsive and recklessly brash. She’s so ruled by her emotions that she gets tricked again and again, even when those who care about her try to warn her. This gets old quickly and makes it harder to care about her. For MG readers, this very well might be a 4-star read. For adults, it ranks more around 2.5-3 stars.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Dulaney

    Readers of Mary Downing Hahn's previous middle grade novels will likely put "Guest" into a category alongside "Took" and very far away from titles like "Wait Til Helen Comes," "All the Lovely Bad Ones," and "Deep and Dark and Dangerous." The plot of this newest Hahn work comes straight out of Celtic lore and has plenty of action, fantastic creatures, and dark magic. The main character, Mollie, is not altogether likable at the straight, but as she seeks to restore her family to a happier state an Readers of Mary Downing Hahn's previous middle grade novels will likely put "Guest" into a category alongside "Took" and very far away from titles like "Wait Til Helen Comes," "All the Lovely Bad Ones," and "Deep and Dark and Dangerous." The plot of this newest Hahn work comes straight out of Celtic lore and has plenty of action, fantastic creatures, and dark magic. The main character, Mollie, is not altogether likable at the straight, but as she seeks to restore her family to a happier state and must suffer at the hands of the evil Kinde Folke (the Sidhe in Celtic tales), she becomes strong and generous. Hahn weaves a tale that will have readers from age 10 to 15 wondering at creatures like the Pooka, and changelings, and maybe a little bit fearful of any snooping crows or ravens that happen to perch nearby. And, if those readers will allow their favorite ghost writer to stray a bit from that genre, they will most assuredly enjoy this one just as much as they do her scary tales. Recommended for 4th grade and up without any reservations regarding profanity, violence or sexual content. Thanks for the dARC, NetGalley.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    Mollie knew she shouldn't say anything positive about her baby brother, lest the Kinde Folk hear and swap him for one of theirs. She knows that the locket around his neck is meant to protect him. But it won't hurt to wear the pretty necklace herself, just for a few minutes? He's such a good baby! The changeling child--whom they call Guest, since he's NOT staying--is a hellion. Mollie's dad left and her mom is a mess, trying to care for this hated creature and distraught over her own b Mollie knew she shouldn't say anything positive about her baby brother, lest the Kinde Folk hear and swap him for one of theirs. She knows that the locket around his neck is meant to protect him. But it won't hurt to wear the pretty necklace herself, just for a few minutes? He's such a good baby! The changeling child--whom they call Guest, since he's NOT staying--is a hellion. Mollie's dad left and her mom is a mess, trying to care for this hated creature and distraught over her own boy. It's up to Mollie to go to the Kinde Folk and retrieve her real brother, but the queen won't give him up easily. This is a different kind of story from what Hahn usually writes, and I think the story is stronger for it--the ideas and the writing sound fresher than they have in her other recent books. ARC from publisher at ALA. Thanks!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Another great tale by this true storytelling author!! I first "met this author" through Wait til Helen comes and ever since I've been hooked! I love her ghost stories! This one is a little different than she normally writes which is why I gave it a 4 star. Plus, it was a little slow in the beginning. However; I'm glad I kept reading. It has a cool ending though!! Mollie learns a lot about herself throughout the book. At first, I truly thought she was going to be a brat in the whole sto Another great tale by this true storytelling author!! I first "met this author" through Wait til Helen comes and ever since I've been hooked! I love her ghost stories! This one is a little different than she normally writes which is why I gave it a 4 star. Plus, it was a little slow in the beginning. However; I'm glad I kept reading. It has a cool ending though!! Mollie learns a lot about herself throughout the book. At first, I truly thought she was going to be a brat in the whole story. But wait til you read this book!! Guest is my true hero!! I love him because he is different! What a boring world this would be if we were all the same!! All the characters were wonderful except the Kinde folk. And who knows? They may be all around us. My thanks to Netgalley for this book No compensations were received and all opinions are my own!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Krystle

    Mary Downing Hahn is one of my favorite authors. I have always loved her books, and this one is no exception! Guest: A Changeling Tale is a middle aged novel based on Irish folklore. It is the story of Mollie, a young girl who inadvertently and carelessly causes her baby brother to be stolen by the Kinde Folke and taken to another land. A changeling is left in his place and misery ensues. Mollie sets out on a mission to find her baby brother and bring him home. I finished this book within two da Mary Downing Hahn is one of my favorite authors. I have always loved her books, and this one is no exception! Guest: A Changeling Tale is a middle aged novel based on Irish folklore. It is the story of Mollie, a young girl who inadvertently and carelessly causes her baby brother to be stolen by the Kinde Folke and taken to another land. A changeling is left in his place and misery ensues. Mollie sets out on a mission to find her baby brother and bring him home. I finished this book within two days! It kept me on the edge of my seat, and was literally impossible to put down. With each page, I found myself falling more and more in love with the story and the characters. The only disappointment in this book is the fact that it had to come to an end! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story. While it was a quick read, it was well worth the time!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rhoda

    ARC received from publisher's booth at ALA Conference. This is both true to form for Mary Downing Hahn and a departure from her usual voice and style at the same time. It's a great introduction to Irish myths and folktales for young readers, and I could hardly put it down even as an adult. The main character's stubbornness became grating at times, and the bittersweet ending drags quite a bit but I also don't know how it could have been handled differently. I like the bitter ARC received from publisher's booth at ALA Conference. This is both true to form for Mary Downing Hahn and a departure from her usual voice and style at the same time. It's a great introduction to Irish myths and folktales for young readers, and I could hardly put it down even as an adult. The main character's stubbornness became grating at times, and the bittersweet ending drags quite a bit but I also don't know how it could have been handled differently. I like the bittersweetness of the ending however, as it pushes the main character forward while reminding her that what she learned on her journey won't necessarily be shared or appreciated by her family when she returns. If I had read this as a kid, I would have absolutely loved it, and it would have sent me into an obsession with Irish tales and ghost stories. A great addition to an already impressive body of work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I almost did not give this book 4 stars, but the ending the second half of the book made up for the annoyance and anger I felt at Mollie for the first half. This was an interesting take on Irish folktale of the changeling and I enjoyed it a lot. I thought this was going to be a bit creepier when I read the summary and it's not creepy at all. Certainly not on the same level as her ghost stories. I will also add that this book does do that middle - grade fiction thing where the author is not expli I almost did not give this book 4 stars, but the ending the second half of the book made up for the annoyance and anger I felt at Mollie for the first half. This was an interesting take on Irish folktale of the changeling and I enjoyed it a lot. I thought this was going to be a bit creepier when I read the summary and it's not creepy at all. Certainly not on the same level as her ghost stories. I will also add that this book does do that middle - grade fiction thing where the author is not explicitly saying here a good moral you should learn, but some of the character antics and changes have that vibe of this person did X therefore Y happened but they changed because they learned, and now they are smarter/kinder/have a whole new POV on their situation. But I didn't mind it. Hopefully, you won't either. :) Overall, I definitely recommend for a nice fall read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Thanks to Netgalley.com and the publisher for letting me read this ARC. Another great read from my favorite kids scary book author Mary Downing Hahn. It's a bit different than her usual story. This one doesn't have a main character in present day dealing with a ghost from 100 years in the past but in this book we are dealing with a changeling. Mollie loves her little baby brother, Thomas, but she has to say that he is an ugly dreadful boy so the Kinde Folke won't come and take him and leave one Thanks to Netgalley.com and the publisher for letting me read this ARC. Another great read from my favorite kids scary book author Mary Downing Hahn. It's a bit different than her usual story. This one doesn't have a main character in present day dealing with a ghost from 100 years in the past but in this book we are dealing with a changeling. Mollie loves her little baby brother, Thomas, but she has to say that he is an ugly dreadful boy so the Kinde Folke won't come and take him and leave one of their babies. Mollie says things she shouldn't and her baby brother is switched. The author, in the author's notes, says she was inspired by her trip to Ireland where she learned about the local folklore. A great spooky story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I like Mary Downing Hahn's books and think she's great at using your own imagination to enhance her stories. That being said, The Guest fell flat. I wanted to like it and felt like I had to power through it. I felt constantly torn between feeling badly for Guest and feeling creeped out by him. The inability to trust the other characters or trust the reality of the other characters made it hard t I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I like Mary Downing Hahn's books and think she's great at using your own imagination to enhance her stories. That being said, The Guest fell flat. I wanted to like it and felt like I had to power through it. I felt constantly torn between feeling badly for Guest and feeling creeped out by him. The inability to trust the other characters or trust the reality of the other characters made it hard to become vested in the story. Unfortunately I can't imagine my students being incredibly engaged in this one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dai Guerra

    I really enjoyed that the main character was naive and acted her age. I read too many books that are meant for a younger audience in which the protagonist seems like they are an adult and it throws me off. It was refreshing to read something different as Mollie gets into a whole lot of trouble for being a child. Something else that I liked was the way that the twists unfolded, it seemed like there was no substance to them but as I kept reading I thought differently. I thought it was great that t I really enjoyed that the main character was naive and acted her age. I read too many books that are meant for a younger audience in which the protagonist seems like they are an adult and it throws me off. It was refreshing to read something different as Mollie gets into a whole lot of trouble for being a child. Something else that I liked was the way that the twists unfolded, it seemed like there was no substance to them but as I kept reading I thought differently. I thought it was great that there was an element of surprise but it didn't throw off the main course of the book. I also liked that the twists were simple enough for 5-7 graders to understand and still want to read more.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 stars. Lovely writing, and good interpretation of Irish folklore and a nice spin on the tale of Tamlin. It needed just a few more pages though, because Mollie's journey from obnoxious bratt, stupid, and insufferable, to kind, loving, caring sister for the changeling, and listening versus irrational behavior was a bit sudden at points. I liked Mollie by the last 30 pages, but wanted to knock sense into her thick skull for most of the book. A very good fall read. Fun and dangerous, atmospheric 3.5 stars. Lovely writing, and good interpretation of Irish folklore and a nice spin on the tale of Tamlin. It needed just a few more pages though, because Mollie's journey from obnoxious bratt, stupid, and insufferable, to kind, loving, caring sister for the changeling, and listening versus irrational behavior was a bit sudden at points. I liked Mollie by the last 30 pages, but wanted to knock sense into her thick skull for most of the book. A very good fall read. Fun and dangerous, atmospheric and spooky without being to scary for children.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC eBook in exchange for honest feedback. As someone who grew up loving Mary Downing Hahn’s ghost stories, and later her realistic novels, I was excited to see yet another new middle-grade novel from her. “Guest” is based on Irish folklore and follows a young girl, Mollie, as she attempts to save her baby brother from the Kinde Folke. The Kinde Folke are a magical people that snatch human babies and leave their own ill-tempered changelings in their plac Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC eBook in exchange for honest feedback. As someone who grew up loving Mary Downing Hahn’s ghost stories, and later her realistic novels, I was excited to see yet another new middle-grade novel from her. “Guest” is based on Irish folklore and follows a young girl, Mollie, as she attempts to save her baby brother from the Kinde Folke. The Kinde Folke are a magical people that snatch human babies and leave their own ill-tempered changelings in their place. Mollie’s recklessness is what original got her brother stolen and her continued recklessness causes many dangerous trials throughout her quest to rescue him. “Guest” seems to fall somewhere in-between the novels of ghost stories and realistic dramas that I am used to associating with Mary Downing Hahn. It is a great read for any middle-grade kid (or adult who’s a kid at heart) who is looking for a little magic and adventure with a dash of Irish folklore.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Another great novel for elementary/middle school students by Mary Downing Hahn. This is a journey story and it is quite well written. Mollie leaves her home with the changeling. They are going to the Kinde Folke land to exchange the changeling for her brother. They meet good and bad and quite scary along the way. There is a part that might get confusing (the tithe part) for young students but I tell them to come see me if they don't understand something in a book and they do. Always good discuss Another great novel for elementary/middle school students by Mary Downing Hahn. This is a journey story and it is quite well written. Mollie leaves her home with the changeling. They are going to the Kinde Folke land to exchange the changeling for her brother. They meet good and bad and quite scary along the way. There is a part that might get confusing (the tithe part) for young students but I tell them to come see me if they don't understand something in a book and they do. Always good discussions.

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