Peppermints in the Parlor. Barbara Brooks Wallace

PUBLISHER,  1980; Awarded 1983.

Synopsis:  Sent to San Francisco after her parents died, Emily Luccock is looking forward to living at Sugar Hill Hall with her beloved aunt and uncle.  Upon arrival Emily discovers everything has changed; the once beautiful home is now dark and eerie with the dead silence of the people who live there and evil lurking in every corner.  Emily is desperate to uncover the truth about what is happening at Sugar Hill Hall, but time is running out.  She must find a way to save the people and home she cares so much about.

Author:  Barbara Brooks Wallace was born and spent her childhood in China, but finally came to live in the United States.  San Francisco was a port of entry for the family many times and she lived for awhile in a huge white-pillared mansion on the side of a hill that became the Sugar Hill Hall mansion.

Discussion questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. How did one get placed in the Remembrance Room and by whom?  (Taking a peppermint or making Mr. Meeching mad and Mrs. Meeching had the key.)
2. Who was Clarabelle and what did she give to the old folks?  (A kitten that is given to Emily by Kipper the fisherman's son that brings happiness to the old folks.)
3. Who was the one who knew about the kitten, coins, and old peoples' projects and told Mrs. Meeching?  (Mrs. Plumly, who once was an actress, put a substance in Emily's tea in order to learn about all the secrets.)

Activities:
1. Draw and/or diagram the house illustrating the rooms and tunnels.  Standard 5, Benchmark 3
2. Write a brief paragraph about one character in the book.  Describe personality traits you like and dislike about the character you choose.  Standard 2, Benchmark 4
3. Create a story chain, either individually or as a group, made out of one inch by eight and a half inch strips (11 per student).  The first strip contains the title and author of the book.  Then write a sentence on each strip detailing the important event of the story.  Be sure to include a beginning, middle and ending for the books.  Standard 3, Benchmark 4