Title : “THE HOUSE OF DIES DREAR”
[ book 1 of DIES DREAR CHRONICLES ]
Copyright © 1968 by Virginia Hamilton
Copyright renewed © 1996 by Virginia Hamilton
Cover design by Debra Sfetsios
Cover illustration copyright © 2006 by Leo & Dianne Dillon
Aladdin Paperbacks (an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
Printed in the United States of America
First paperback edition 1970 ; reissued 1984
Aladdin Paperback edition January 2006 | 250 p | ISBN 978-1-4169-1405-1
Rate : 4 of 5
[ Goodreads ]
~ Conclusion in Bahasa Indonesia at the bottom post ~
ALA Notable Children’s Book
Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner
Thomas Small going into thirteen when his family moving from North Carolina to Ohio, leaving his Great-grandmother Jeffers and others relative behind. Mr. Small wants his family living in different environment, where no separation between black and white people. He got a new job as an teacher, aside his likeness in history, he also got a new house with long tragic history where the owner was an abolitionist known as Dies Drear – part of the Underground Railroad. Thomas who also fond of the story which his father told him, got excited when he learn that more than one hundred thousand slaves who fled from the South to Canada between 1810 – 1850, forty thousand of them had passed through Ohio.
After long drive, finally the Small’s family arrive in the House of Dies Drear, and at that first impression, Thomas knew there is something else about the house that’s really worried him. Having learning the history of the house, when the owner found dies not after the tragic incident involving three slaves who hide in the house, where two of them are capture and killed by the bounty-hunters, Thomas thought that the ghost of angry spirits are still stays in the house too. When Mr. and Mrs. Small enter the house, something weird happening, even both twin-baby brothers of Thomas got really scare and spooks at the same time.
Being man of the house, aside his father, Thomas eager to find the answers of its mystery, not only to protect his family but also to prove there is ghots in the house. But Thomas never knew that his investigation will lead into hidden tunnels, secret passage and might be the hidden treasure of Dies Drear that never been found for all those years. And there is something else too, or someone that become no. 1 suspect in Thomas investigation, a huge and quite scary man name Pluto – the housekeeper who acting strangely ever since Small’s family arrive at the house. Even when Thomas just wondering around the wood near the house, this man often appears without notice, warning Thomas not to far away from the house ... that’s makes him wonder, why ?
At first I really thought the whole story is about haunted house, but then the story lead to another mystery, betwen the rumours surrounding the history of secret movement as Underground Railroad to hide and help black people who escape from slavery into freedom of their life, and what happen to the owner, Dies Drear who alson known as a wealthy man. As juvenile mystery, I found this book quite interesting with the involvement of history of slavery, abolitionist and of course the adventure it self. This book also good for children to learn something that happen on the past, how bad the situation when the issue on separateness and also segregation taking the whole environment among people, black nor white. Also how the situation still caring the same weight of prejudice and racism many years after the Declaration of Freedom announce for the whole American.
“We wear the mask that grins and lies,It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes ...With torn and bleeding hearts we smile ...We wear the mask ![ an excerpt on page 174 | quoted from ‘We Wear the Mask’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar ]
Buku ini merupakan salah satu timbunanku yang terlama, nyaris terlupakan karena belinya saat garage sale borongan. Sesuai dugaan, ini adalah kisah petualangan yang mengandung misteri serta unsur supranatural. Dan sebagai bonus, di luar dugaan, kisah ini mengangkat tema tentang kehidupan kaum abolisi saat memperjuangkan dan menyelamatkan nyawa ribuan kaum kulit hitam dari cengkeraman perbudakan serta perlakuan keji para pemburu budak. Kisah dimulai saat keluarga Small pindah dari lingkungan sanak dan keluarga di kawasan North Carolina menuju Ohio. Mr. Small memiliki impian di mana keluarganya bisa hidup dengan tenang dan damai dalam lingkungan yang bebas dari ketakutan akan rasialisme, di mana penduduk tidak terlalu memperdulikan perbedaan kulit dan menerima kesetaraan dalam kehidupan sehari-hari.
Tokoh utama sepanjang kisah ini dan acapkali berlaku sebagai narator adalah Thomas Small – putra tertua yang berusia 13 tahun, yang memiliki kecerdasan serta keberanian dalam mengungkapkan pendapat serta pemikirannya. Kediaman baru yang mereka tempati disebut sebagai House of Dies Drear – kediaman Dies Drear, salah satu orang terkaya di kawasan Ohio Selatan yang menghilang tanpa jejak, termasuk harta benda yang tak pernah ditemukan, kecuali rumah besar yang akhirnya jatuh ke tangan keluarga Small. Jika kedua orang tuanya sangat gembira mendapati mereka membayar jumlah sangat kecil untuk kediaman yang sangat besar nan luas itu, Thomas justru menaruh kecurigaan adanya ‘sesuatu’ yang tidak beres dengan kediaman tersebut, bahwa kediaman baru keluarganya ‘dihantui’ sesuatu yang membuat bulu-kuduknya meremang ...
Dan dugaan Thomas ‘benar’ sebagian, karena House of Dies Drear adalah salah satu tempat persembunyian kaum kulit hitam yang dibantu oleh gerakan Underground Railroad pada sepanjang abad ke-19. Lalu apa hubungan antara kisah sejarah di masa lalu dengan kehidupan masyarakat di abad ke-20 di mana keluarga Small berada ? Kisah ini penuh dengan misteri yang menjanjikan petualangan mengasyikkan sekaligus mendebarkan. Sayangnya, ternyata buku ini merupakan bagian pertama dari sebuah serial, dan kini diriku harus ‘kelimpungan’ mencari di mana gerangan buku kelanjutannya untuk mengungkap aneka ‘tanda-tanya’ yang kini memenuhi benakku #duhhh ... adakah yang memiliki seri ini dan bersedia meminjamkan bukunya untuk membantuku mengurangi rasa penasaran ini ????
About the Author :
Virginia Hamilton grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a southern Ohio community similar to the one Thomas moves to in The House of Dies Drear. This rural area of villages and farms was an important network on the Underground Railroad system to Canada during the Civil War era. As a child, Miss Hamilton was aware that many of the large old houses in her own community had once concealed running slaves. Her ancestors were among the one hundred thousand slaves who fled from the South in the first half of the ninetenth century, forty thousand of whom are said to have passed through Ohio.
Miss Hamilton belives her books grow out of her childhood wonder about these fleeing people. “I had a longing as a child,” she has said. “I needed to know how men, women and children could travel hundreds of miles on foot through enemy land. I found out that they were brave and clever almost beyond belief. Perhaps with this book I have at last touched them the way they first touched me so long ago.”
As far back she can remember, Miss Hamilton says, she has wanted to be a writer. “I never thought seriously about any other career.” She attended Antioch College and Ohio State University. After living in New York for many years, she recently moved back to Yellow Springs with her husband and children.
~ This Post are include in 2014 Reading Challenge ~
67th Book in What’s A Name Challenge
108th Book in Finding New Author Challenge
261th Book in TBRR Pile