The Bad Seed Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Bad Seed

Rhoda Penmark is a sweet, tidy, well-mannered girl aged eight, and the pride and joy of her mother Christine. She seems absolutely perfect and full of charm which she can turn on at any time to get what she wants. At the same time she is apparently unable to make friends, and some people think there is something odd, even sinister, about her. In order to give her a new start, her anxious parents have just relocated to a new town where nobody knows them, and enrolled her in the best school they can find.
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An outing at the school sends the family's house of cards tumbling down. One of Rhoda's classmates, Claude Daigle, has just won a prize which she believed was hers by right, and on a picnic he is ‘accidentally' drowned. She seems strangely unaffected by the tragedy, and everyone thinks there is something very disturbing about her reactions. The school janitor, Leroy, suspects he knows the answer, and threatens to tell them. Gradually Christine realises that she might have had something to do with other unexplained deaths of people around her.

Then the truth becomes chillingly clear. Christine's dear little child is no angel, but an ice-cold, calculating serial killer. Although adopted, she traces the identity of her biological mother, and in doing so stumbles across a dark secret.
The review of this Book prepared by John Van der Kiste

Chapter Analysis of The Bad Seed

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   catching a killer Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   grade school Wild kid(s)?    -   committing crimes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Bad Seed

William March Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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