Read The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder Alton Raible Online


When the four Stanley children meet Amanda, their new stepsister, they're amazed to learn she studies witchcraft. When she shares her secrets, strange things start happening in their old house. They suspect Amanda until they learn the house was long ago haunted by a ghost that cut off the head of a wooden cupid on the stairway. A Newbery Honor Book....

Title : The Headless Cupid
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440228950
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Headless Cupid Reviews

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-05-20 18:30

    This modern classic about witchcraft, family and fantasy is both exciting and deeply imaginative. The Headless Cupid is undeniably worth reading and despite being released decades ago it's hardly dated in the slightest.

  • Myles
    2019-05-16 12:52

    Me and my reading nostalgia. The Headless Cupid was my first Zilpha Keatley Snyder book and made her my favorite author from when I couldn't remember how to say her name right let alone spell it to when I discovered Redwall. All grown up now, this is definitely one of her best books, striking the perfect balance between troubled youth and the supernatural. Snyder knows that the kids aren't alright, and that is what makes her books worth reading. Because yes, it's true that her plots aren't intricate but she knew how to write how kids spoke with each other. Here we don't get into the head of the troubled Amanda, but instead see her actions through the eyes of her new stepbrother David, a boy whose been mostly responsible for his siblings since his mother's death years ago. Snyder handles his conflicted feelings for his mother, his step-mother and his curious awe for Amanda's rebellion deftly and with compassion.The other Stanley children, motormouth Janie, stubborn Tesser and her twin the sweet and spooky Blair are not fully fleshed out characters yet, its true, but there's such definite genuineness to their interactions that it's not surprise to me that Snyder wrote three sequels: The Famous Stanley Kidnapping Case, Blair's Nightmare and Janie's Private Eyes. That's what it comes down to, you pick up her books eager for a spooky mystery, which is delivered, but more importantly you're exposed to your own thoughts and doubts and fears coming out of another character's mouth and actions. There may be more action-oriented, "better," books out there for young adults these days but I haven't read anything else for this age-range that so perfectly captures the mindset of someone on the edge of childhood and making those first painful transitions into adolescence.

  • Desiivy
    2019-05-21 16:58

    I was 12 when I first picked up this book, I had just move hundreds of miles away from my home to a new school new step family and knew nobody. Honestly I only desided to read it because the two main characters were David and Amanda. David and Amanda were the names of 2 cousins I missed very much.But after that it was the story that carried it, it was the very first book I read completely and then read again. I fell in love with the characters as well as the author. At the time 1989 I could only get my hands on this one and the next in the series (The Famous Stanley Kidnapping Case) So I had to deal with reading each and every one of this authors other titles I could find at my schools and the local public library. Over the years I have looked at different libraries and found a few, but over the last 2 years I have discovered the internet and I no long have any limits to which ones I can get and read. I have bought the ones I read and loved so long ago. I have read so many more of her books, I'm 33 year old adult married with kids, who collects every single one of her books, seeing me reading title after title of books written for 12 years olds. What can I say other then it is a piece of my childhood I don't want forgotten.

  • Shawn Thrasher
    2019-06-11 16:42

    The Headless Cupid exists in the same eerie world as Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Witch books Witch's Sister and The Ghost Next Door or Lois Duncan's Summer of Fear (The Children of Green Knowe has this flavor as well, only more gothic and less suspenseful). Snyder was one of the masters of the craft of children's literature; The Headless Cupid continues to hold up really well. It's deliciously slow, and like the best suspense and ghost stories, tricky. She uses David, her main character, and his thoughts and beliefs to trick us into thinking things are one way... and then turns the tables on us in a most extraordinarily wonderful way. I never need blood and gore to make my spine tingle - The Headless Cupid is perfect that way.

  • Kaethe
    2019-06-09 15:46

    A recently blended family getting to know one another. A resentful girl with an interest in the occult. Amusing little kids. A big, old house.I think what marks this out as a novel of the 70s is that the kids have all summer pretty much on their own. They're expected to appear for meals, but none of them has any playdates, or scheduled activities, nor do they have other kids around to play with. Just a long, empty summer to get into trouble. It's a fun book, less creepy than amusing in their efforts to become occult, and blend as a family.Library copy.

  • Emily
    2019-06-04 19:34

    One of the rare books that I loved as a kid that still holds up upon reading as an adult. David's new step-mom has a daughter, Amanda, who is quite taken with the occult and also not terribly pleased with being moved to the country to live with her new family. Amanda decides to make the kids her "neophytes" and initiate them into magic and spells. However, a real supernatural occurrence is more than she, or anyone, bargained for. I never knew when I was a kid that this was the first in a series about the Stanley family. Now, I've acquired them all and am excited to read them.

  • Debbie
    2019-06-04 16:50

    At one of the library's booksales, I picked up a bunch of books that I liked or were super-popular when I was in elementary school. This is the first one I've actually read, and it was fun to indulge the nostalgia. While resolution at the end was a little too quick, I thought, the rest of it was still good!

  • Julie
    2019-06-09 20:37

    Found this when I was looking for a book for Miles - I loved this book when I was a kid. Guess what, I still like it! Good writing, good messages, and a poltergeist storyline to hold interest.

  • Victoria
    2019-06-14 12:29

    One of my favorite books when I was younger, any fan of ghost stories or paranormal mysteries should really enjoy this.David Stanley tries his hardest to play the ultimate big brother to his three very different young siblings. With their mother dead, and their father often away working and preparing for remarriage, he is the one they look up to. But David is about to have problems of his own, arriving in the form of his new stepsister, Amanda. And Amanda brings more than the usual problems. She is a self-styled practicer of the occult, and she brings with her a grumpy crow familiar, books of spells, and somewhat of an attitude. Before long, David's three irrepressible siblings; mischievous know-it-all Janie, innocent Esther, and quiet, mysterious Blair, have convinced Amanda to give them a chance to get in on her world, despite her reluctance. David is pulled along too, fascinated in spite of himself by Amanda's interests. But when strange things begin to happen in David's old house, the four Stanley siblings, plus Amanda, may find themselves with a true ghost on their hands. And maybe none of them will be prepared to deal with it.Sprinkled with hilarity and fun that take the worst of the creepiness out of this spooky novel (the siblings' attempts to pass Amanda's rites, as well as "capture" lizard familiars and hold a seance, have lots of funny moments), this is a perfect introduction to anyone who wants to try a ghost story. Under that, it's also the story of a family learning about each other. But the ending, which has a not-necessarily surprising twist, has a double twist that leaves everything up in the air...a perfect ending for a study of the paranormal.

  • Sara
    2019-06-08 20:48

    ZKS you devilish wonderful person, I loved this so much as a kid and on reread still like it a lot. AMANDA. Amanda, oh jeez. And Blair! Oh sweet little Blair. "Lots of little valentines" indeed. I very distinctly remember half-casually doing versions of Amanda's rites - not touching metal is very difficult - and half-fearing that I would go to hell for it. Because witches.But also, again, ZKS uses the ways kids process trauma and fear here so beautifully. The way Amanda is, it's for a reason. Kids in ZKS books always have reasons for doing things because, and this is important, real kids always have reasons for doing things. Those reasons can be opaque or nonsensical or even impossible for them to pinpoint or describe, but they're there. And ZKS books always give kids their due in that arena, which is fantastic.

  • Alexis
    2019-05-31 13:34

    I loved Zilpha Keatley Snyder as a child and I was curious to see if her books stand up. I'm also re-reading lots of my childhood favourites, and analyzing them and paying more attention to how stories are told.This book stood up well. It was well written and had a great plot and was still creepy. I plan to read more of Zilpha's books. I loved them.There's only one section of the book that didn't stand up and that's a section where the characters were playing slave drivers and slaves. I can't picture that happening in a modern day kid's book.

  • evelyn
    2019-06-13 12:55

    Finished my book on the train to work and realized the battery on my Kindle was dead, so I grabbed a book form my classroom library I hadn't read in a while. I've been recommending this to all my kids asking for scary stories even though I hadn't read it since I was their age. It's still great, although I'm not sure that the kids looking for a scary book will be very satisfied. The only scary parts are close to the end. The characters are so well-written, though.

  • Ana
    2019-06-08 19:59

    I read this as a young girl and loved it and recently read it again to my children and loved it even more. My 15 year old son even commented on how he liked the way she did the characters--one of the big reasons I like it so much too. It is a great read-a-loud for many ages--I read it to all my kids. The three year old didn't get into it but from ages 6-15 they were spellbound.

  • Jan Leotti
    2019-06-04 13:35

    I love reading kid's books, and this one was a real treat. A clever ghost story with themes of tween anger, divorce, and giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Terrific for tweens to read on their own or for mom or dad to read to their kids while cuddling next to them on a stormy night.

  • Cassie
    2019-05-29 14:34

    I really enjoyed this book again. I hadn't read it since childhood. I do enjoy Z. Keatley Snyder a lot. The Egypt Game is another favorite by her. I know that there is another book with the same family that is set in Italy I think. I'm going to check that one out.

  • Wealhtheow
    2019-05-28 18:49

    Children deal with living in a haunted house. When I was a kid, this was an unbearably spooky book.

  • Alyssa Nelson
    2019-06-16 13:31

    I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into with this book. Was it a paranormal thing, was it a cute story about children learning how to live together as a mixed family? Each description spun it differently, so I started the book confused as to what I was supposed to think about it. This book centers on David, the oldest of the Stanley children. Amanda comes to live with them, and he finds her interesting. She studies the occult and witchcraft and takes the Stanley children as her apprentices, to teach them how to do spells and read the future. The thing is, they may have awakened a ghost with their activities.I enjoyed this book; Snyder perfectly encapsulates a lot of what it is to be young. The tense friendship that David and Amanda strike is incredibly realistic; she resents her mother for re-marrying, but she also likes having friends and other people to entertain, so they have a somewhat “frenemy” vibe. I also absolutely loved how the magic-teaching was handled in this book. I have had seances and done spells at ten years old that could be a direct copy of what was done in this book, which was just perfect. However, this all provides a backdrop for exploring issues surrounding divorce and re-marriage: learning to live in a new place, accepting that your parents are no longer together, being a sibling to kids you haven’t met before, etc. Amanda is incredibly confused and hurt by her mother’s remarriage, so she works it out through these magical activities. This would be a great book to give to a fanciful child who’s having some issues dealing with a separation.However, the story isn’t overly heavy and laden with emotional trauma. It’s fun and whimsical and has some great paranormal stuff going on with a possible haunting. I like that it toes the line between paranormal and realistic, not really leaning in either direction. This is well worth its Newbery Honor and I highly recommend it.Also posted on Purple People Readers.

  • Heather
    2019-06-07 16:37

    0.5 stars.I really didn't like this book. I only got to page 69 and it was so dead boring that I was almost falling asleep. The main female chacter was sooo snotty. She thought that adults were despicable things that didn't even deserve to be called humans. She hated her mom with a passion and though that the main male caracter's dad was the devil himself. The main female was also super cruel to all animals and even worse to young children (she called them things). She hates everything but her best friend and her dad (and the only reason she likes her dad is because he showers her with money whenever she wants something and never tells her no). Both her and her friend decied that they were going to be witches and that all witches have to be awful hags and steal things. All in all this was a super boring and completely dreadful book. I would never recommend this book to anyone I know because I wouldn't want anyone to be as depressed as I was during the first sixy-nine pages of this book.

  • Kendall
    2019-05-22 12:41

    This is a book for fourth through sixth grade readers. I didn't like the book, and I think that if you're a student considering reading it, then you should try Sammy Keyes mysteries, The Graveyard Book, or Skeleton Creek before reading this one.This book was a Newbery Honor book in 1971. At the time, there wasn't much out there for adolescents. Although probably good adolescent literature for its time, there are much stronger pieces of literature out there today. The plot seems too contrived and the fact that five kids are left alone most of the time seems unbelievable. Also, the family relationships aren't described, and the parents are flat characters without much depth. This is a book controversial for its depictions of witchcraft, but I am more concerned with the poor plot and character development!

  • Sarah
    2019-06-05 19:57

    Not my favorite. I didn't enjoy reading about a bratty girl and I didn't enjoy the quickness of the ending. Why do books have to spend so much time on the problem and the build up and yet spend little time after the situation is resolved? I think readers deserve to know what happens next, especially to make it seem more realistic. And this ending wasn't satisfactory at all.

  • Amanda Robbins
    2019-05-31 17:59


  • Amber Scaife
    2019-06-15 20:36

    David and his three younger siblings move into an old and mysterious house with their dad, new stepmom and her peculiar daughter, Amanda, who is twelve to David's eleven. Amanda is interested-slash-borderline-obsessed with everything occult, to the point that she moves in along with a crow, a toad and a snake despite the fact that the crow treats her viciously and she's afraid of reptiles. She quickly establishes herself as the leader and pulls David and the little ones into an elaborate series of initiation rites. David begins to sense that her strange behavior is less about witchcraft and more to do with all the recent changes in her life. When they learn that there may have been a poltergeist in the old house long ago, however, things start happening and David works to solve all sorts of mysteries.An interesting story and a fun read that pulls you in and keeps you page-turning. David's character is immediately likable, and Amanda and the rest of the kiddos are completely believable and easy to root for.

  • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    2019-05-26 16:46

    I remember reading this when it first came out and loving it. I was nine then, and I read it at least three or four times. I even wrote a poem from the cupid's point of view! I shared that with the children's librarian and she loved it and they printed it in the library column of the local paper. (And she kept it and I never got it back, either.)I just re-read the book for the first time in 41 years and I'm sorry to say, it didn't hold up for me. Not least, of course, because I've lost all interest in the poltergeist/supernatural/woo-woo thing, but aside from that--it's just one big ol' letdown. It's obvious what's going on, the explanation is beyond pedestrian, and then the ending with the box etc just seems patched on. The first part made me itch, and the second part made me impatient. I see that there's a whole Stanley Family Series, which probably explains a lot. I caught myself skimming, and that's never a good sign.

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-18 16:58

    (3.5 stars) I didn't think I was going to like this at all because of Amanda's attitude and all the witchcraft / occult content, but I enjoyed it because the book was grounded around David and his siblings. I thought Snyder was astute in her portrayal of Amanda, dealing with divorce and remarriage, contrasted with the Stanley children, whose mother had died as they formed a blended family. I liked how the "real" Amanda was drawn out by the end of the book. Regardless, I won't hand this book to any of my kids because I'm wary of books that might encourage them to play around with the occult.

  • James
    2019-05-17 20:49

    I read this book a couple of times as a kid and I had a lot of fond memories of it, especially of it being a pretty creepy book. I decided to pick it up again and read it to my kids. I found it to be fairly tame at this point in my life, but I still enjoyed it and so did my kids (although they didn't think it was scary, either).

  • Nick
    2019-05-29 17:52

    I loved this story about a family struggling to fit a new stepsister into its midsts. Snyder shows, and refrains from too much telling, and the result is a sensitive and delicate exploration of the ways children work to fit in and stand apart.

  • Kristal
    2019-05-20 19:48

    This is probably the book that made me want to be a witch when I was ten

  • Becky
    2019-05-17 12:58

    I love the way she weaves family drama with the supernatural so seamlessly that you aren't quite sure where one leaves off and the other one starts. Brilliant and just as good as I remembered it.

  • Rebecca
    2019-06-08 20:55

    Another childhood favorite. I think ended up reading a lot of this author's books.

  • Tyree Barclay
    2019-05-19 18:57

    It had me thinking very hard and got me confused but overall its a great book.