The Light on Hogback Hill

by Cynthia DeFelice
Reading level: Ages 9-12


Despite being warned away by old Angus Tull, who may know more than he lets on, eleven-year-old Hadley insists on befriending the hunchbacked woman who dwells on a haunted hill and finds herself with new joys and responsibilities.

A Note from the Author

It doesn’t take much for a house to seem haunted. If no one lives there for a while, it can begin to look run-down and creepy pretty quickly. The grass and weeds grow up all around, the shutters sag, the paint peels, one window is broken, then another…. Such houses have always fascinated me. When I was a kid, I used to imagine all sorts of terrible things about a house on my street, a house that I had to pass when I walked to visit my best friend. That was okay during the daylight, but if it was already dark—-well, I ran past that house real fast!

It was fun to write about the house on Hogback Hill, a place that all the kids are sure is inhabited by a hunchbacked hag who turns people into cats! I was interested in the real story behind the woman who lives there. That, I thought, might be even more interesting than what Hadley and Josh imagine….


“Is there really a witch living on Hogback Hill? When Hadley Patterson sets out to uncover the mystery behind a light flickering on a deserted hillside outside of town, she is prepared for almost anything but the truth. As Hadley and Josh, the new boy in town, work together to solve the puzzle, they develop a friendship between themselves and the ‘witch’ who lives on the hill. A fine blend of suspense and human kindness.” – Horn Book

“DeFelice deals with opposite-sex friendship, single-parent families, and prejudice against the disabled–and still manages to weave a good mystery yarn.” – Booklist

The Light on Hogback Hill by Cynthia DeFelice
Paperback – 144 pages Reprint edition (September 1995)
Camelot; ISBN: 0380723956
School & Library Binding – 139 pages 1 Ed edition (October 1993)
Atheneum; ISBN: 002726453X
Hardcover (October 1999)
Econo-Clad Books; ISBN: 0785775714