Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Something Upstairs Paperback – May 1 1997


See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, May 1 1997
CDN$ 0.01

Best Books of 2014
Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett’s tour of the world’s most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no man’s lands, is our #1 pick for 2014. See all

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray; Reprint edition (May 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380790866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380790869
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 0.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,027,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7 A ghost story of redeeming social value: when 12-year-old Kenny Huldorf moves with his family to Providence, Rhode Island, he finds himself embroiled in the century-old murder of a teenage slave named Caleb. Not only is Kenny haunted by the injustice of the murder, but also by the ghost of Caleb himself, who summons Kenny back in time to the early 19th Century, where the boy must solve Caleb's murder to return to his own century. How Kenny does this is the stuff of a somber and ambiguous conclusion upon which Avi intrudes himself as a character as he has earlier done at the book's beginning. Why Avi has chosen to do this is debatableperhaps to reinforce the reality of the social issue, slavery, which drives the narrative. In any event, as a literary device it compromises an otherwise carefully constructed tale, just as the too obvious employment of Caleb as both character and symbol tends to compromise his viability as a character. Nevertheless Something Upstairs is an intelligent and well-intentioned effort. It can provoke discussion of the issues articulated above as well as how, finally, violence visits the lives of both Caleb and Kenny and how Kenny, through choice and circumstance, may have become a slave himself. Michael Cart, Beverly Hills Public Library
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Avi's many award-winning books for young readers include the Newbery Medal winner Crispin: The Cross of Lead, as well as the Newbery Honor Books nothing but the truth and the true confessions of charlotte doyle. He is the author of the beloved Poppy books, an animal adventure series that includes Ragweed, Poppy (winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award), Poppy and Rye, Ereth's Birthday, and Poppy's Return. His critically acclaimed novels also include Don't You Know There's a War On? and the hilarious animal fantasy The Mayor of Central Park. Avi lives in Denver, Colorado.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By kevin houtz on April 9 2003
Format: Paperback
Something upstairs is a book about a boy who moves to a new town in to an old house that has a little mystery about it . But than again all old houses have those, but avi dose a very good job on this one. The book begins with a boy named kenny. One day just like all the others. When kenny arrives home from school his parents are standing in the front room waiting for him. He knows something is wrong because his parents are usually still at work when he gets home. They tell him that they are moving to road island because his father has found a job that pays better. The new house was actually a very old one and every thing was so different here inside and out. One night kenny was awakend by a loud scratching noise, so he gose to find out what it is. He finds nothing but a spot on the floor. He hears this noise for afew more days until he gose to see what could be making this noise. He sees something amazing there is a man coming out of the spot in the floor. Kenny can hear the man call for help, and for some reason he runs to the window and sees a man in a dark cape. Tlock eyes and the man disapears in to the shadows. In the end kenny finds out how to help the man i wont tell you how but it all ends with a gun shot.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
This book is a good read for kids just starting the young adult readers book. It is about a boy named Kenny Huldorf, who had just moved into a new house in Providence Rhode Island. He is living in a house that was owned by many different people, 12 families to be exact, dating back to 1636 the day it was built. His parents give him the attic for his room, though he does not know there is a little room at then end of his room. It was used for a slave living quarters. One night when kenny is asleep, he hears a noise comming from the room, he came to investigate and he saw some of his boxes moving across the floor, and under them was a little glowing stain, with two hands sticking out. Eventually a whole body had emerged and kenny was in shock. Kenny has seen the ghost that haunts his new home. He realizes that this boy was a black slave, and trys to talk with him, he only disapeers though. So the next day kenny went to the historian in the library and got information on his home. He finds out that there were slaves once living in his home. The next night he sees the ghost again, but this time when he goes back to go to his bed, its not his bed...or his room. He had traveled back in time to the time of the boy...Caleb. He ran outside saw the new world, and was amazed, nothing was the same, but yet everything was the same (if that makes any sense to you). He reaches in his pocket for his dodgers key chain closes his eyes and he is back in his time. Caleb finds out about this, and asks Kenny to help him find how he died...find his murderer!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
This book is a good read for kids just starting the young adult readers book. It is about a boy named Kenny Huldorf, who had just moved into a new house in Providence Rhode Island. He is living in a house that was owned by many different people, 12 families to be exact, dating back to 1636 the day it was built. His parents give him the attic for his room, though he does not know there is a little room at then end of his room. It was used for a slave living quarters. One night when kenny is asleep, he hears a noise comming from the room, he came to investigate and he saw some of his boxes moving across the floor, and under them was a little glowing stain, with two hands sticking out. Eventually a whole body had emerged and kenny was in shock. Kenny has seen the ghost that haunts his new home. He realizes that this boy was a black slave, and trys to talk with him, he only disapeers though. So the next day kenny went to the historian in the library and got information on his home. He finds out that there were slaves once living in his home. The next night he sees the ghost again, but this time when he goes back to go to his bed, its not his bed...or his room. He had traveled back in time to the time of the boy...Caleb. He ran outside saw the new world, and was amazed, nothing was the same, but yet everything was the same (if that makes any sense to you). He reaches in his pocket for his dodgers key chain closes his eyes and he is back in his time. Caleb finds out about this, and asks Kenny to help him find how he died...find his murderer!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By A Customer on May 15 2002
Format: Paperback
Something Upstairs
Kenny, a new kid in town, has just moved here from the majestic state of California (...and by here I mean Providence, Rhode Island.) As he comes into his new home he wonders why his parents have made him move to this place of old buildings, and it was very muggy and stifling. Rhode Island was much different then his home town of Los Angeles. Kenny thinks it's much more boring than California but he is in for a surprise. Not very anxious to see his new town, he stays inside his house on Sheldon Street. Backtracking a little bit, when Kenny was going to his new house something caught his eye: a sign that read "Daniel Stillwell 1769". It was the name of the original owner of the house. So, the first night at Kenny's new house was normal until Kenny heard a noise from one of the small rooms in his new attic room. He went to check and something was moving the bookcase his mom put there to cover the stain on the floor. To Kenny's surprise in his own room there was something upstairs other than him. As Kenny walked ever so closely, he sees a ghostly figure appearing. Who would've known that something that rarely ever happens anywhere happens here in the little town of Providence (a.k.a. Boresville, U.S.A.). Many nights pass and every night the ghost comes around 3:00 AM. Kenny decides to befriend the ghost whose name is Caleb. Once Caleb is befriended, he asks Kenny a favor. (See, Caleb was murdered at the ripe old age of 16 - He was a slave. Yes -- a slave. So now Caleb is a ghost from the past. Now it's getting interesting.) Caleb was a slave for Daniel Stillwell. (There's that name again.) So back to the story... Caleb wanted Kenny to find his killer. It seems very hard and Kenny thought he was joking but Caleb was very serious and candid.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews



Feedback