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The Haunting (Mahy novel) facts for kids

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The Haunting
The Haunting cover.jpg
First edition
Author Margaret Mahy
Country New Zealand
Language English
Genre Children's supernatural fiction, ghost story
Publisher J. M. Dent
Publication date
August 1982
Media type Print
Pages 135 pp (first edition)
ISBN 0-460-06097-X
OCLC 476531256
LC Class PZ7.M2773 Hau

The Haunting is a low fantasy novel for children written by Margaret Mahy of New Zealand and published in 1982, including a U.K. edition by J. M. Dent. Atheneum published the first U.S. edition in 1983.

Mahy won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject.

The Haunting of Barney Palmer, a New Zealand movie based on the book, was released in 1987.

Plot introduction

Barney Palmer, a shy eight-year-old boy, discovers that one person in each generation of his family has had supernatural gifts – and this generation it seems to be him. He believes he is haunted by the ghost of an uncle he never met, and is oppressed by his fate. However, his sister Tabitha is determined to help him.


  • "Feminism, Freud and the Fairytale: Reading Margaret Mahy's The Haunting" by C. Marquis, Landfall, No. 162, 1987 pp. 186–205.
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