Mr. McFadden’s Hallowe’En by Rumer Godden.
A commenter recently asked if I’d read any of Godden’s children’s books (Sorry, I can’t remember who asked or what post the comment was on.) I hadn’t but I realized I did have two of her children’s books on my to be read shelf and decided this was a prompting to suggest what I should read next.
Mr. McFadden’s Hallowe’en is a traditional story about a bunch of misfits—two children named Selina and Tim and a pony named Haggis as well as the Mr. McFadden of the title—who live in a little village on the Scottish Border.
Selina is a dreamy girl who just can’t seem to get along with the other children. She befriends the younger Tim who lives with his aunt who neglects him and beats him. Her pony Haggis leads her to Mr. McFadden’s farm and prompts an unusual friendship among the group. Mr. McFadden is a solitary, crotchety old man who seems to never have been loved by anyone until Selina and Tim show up. Selina is shocked that Mr. McFadden has never experienced a Hallowe’en and is determined he shall do so now.
There’s also an inheritance and a land dispute and a warm happy ending. Great details about Scottish Hallowe’en customs including carving turnips. A charming story for young readers and old if not exactly unpredictable.
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