76 pages 2 hours read

Mary Downing Hahn

All The Lovely Bad Ones

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2008

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Use this activity to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity. 

All the Lovely Bad Ones is a ghost story that teaches a lesson about the pain caused by Class Disparities. Class disparity occurs when one group of people is treated very differently from another group because of how much money or social status each group has. In All the Lovely Bad Ones, the child ghosts haunt the site where they were once housed on a “poor farm,” and where they were subjected to torturous conditions.

It would be nice to think that this kind of suffering is only made up for the book, but poor farms existed in the United States, and many were just as inhumane as the one depicted in this story.

  • Find at least two useful, scholarly resources to read on poor farms and/or the poorhouse/poor farm system.
  • Once you have read the articles, think about the ways in which the lives of the fictional children who lived at the book’s poor farm are like the lives of the real people who spent time at American poor farms. Use evidence from All the Lovely Bad Ones and from the articles to complete a compare/contrast organizer.