The House of Dies Drear
|The House Of Dies Drear|
|Genre||Children's historical novel, mystery fiction|
|Media type||Print (hardcover & paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.H1828 Ho|
|Followed by||The Mystery of Drear House|
The House of Dies Drear is a novel by Virginia Hamilton published by Macmillan in 1968 with illustrations by Eros Keith. The story takes place in 1968. Thomas Small, a 13-year-old African American boy, moves with his family into a house that was once part of the Underground Railroad that is in Ohio. His father, Mr. Small, tells Thomas that the caretaker of the house is Mr. Pluto. People think he is the devil because Mr. Pluto rides an old buggy driven by two horses and because Pluto is the roman name for Hades the god of the underworld. Once they move into the house, strange and scary things begin to happen. They meet a malicious family next to them, the Darrows. In the end, they learn that the Darrows are doing all they can to scare away the Smalls and get the treasure located in the underground railroad tunnel.
The main characters are Mr. Small, Thomas Small, Mrs. Small, Mr. Pluto, May-hew Skinner (Mr. Pluto's son), and Pesty.
The Darrow feud
The Darrows have had a feud with Pluto since Grandpa Barrow's time. Mr. Pluto and the Marrows' grandpa were once friends when they were children. One of the youngest Darrow children, Mac, wishes to befriend Thomas, but is punished for attempting to do so. The Darrow boys were blamed for vandalizing the Smalls' kitchen when the Small family wasn't at home. So at the end Mayhew has a plan to scare the Darrows for good.
There are red herrings, like when Mr. Pluto wears gloves you think he is hiding something on his hands, how he dresses weird. That sends you in the wrong direction, so you think that has something to do with why he is acting so strangely. As a matter of fact, this is because the man that barges into the Smalls' house is not Mr. Pluto at all. It is Mayhew Skinner, Pluto's son.
Suspenseful moments and mysterious moments- When the shadowy figure enters the Small's house and places three triangles, and then mysteriously in Mr. Smalls new office at the University Mr.Small and Thomas find the last triangle. When they get home that day, the Smalls find someone has sneaked into their house and messed up the kitchen, spilling food on the floors and counter-tops and all the plates have been destroyed in the house. Also when a second MR. Pluto is found and it turns out it is Mayhew Skinner, Pluto's son.
- "The house of Dies Drear". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
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