The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn
A Caudill nominee for 2008, this is the tale of 12-year-old Diana and her 8-year-old brother, Georgie. For as long as they can remember, they've lived a lonely existence on a farm called Oak Hill Manor. For almost as long, they've lived under strange and strict rules that restrict their ability to leave the property or talk to anyone. They are also afraid that they will encounter the ghost of the former owner, Lilian Willis, a mean and hateful old woman.
But when Lissa Morrison, another 12-year-old, and her father come to take care of the decaying old mansion, known as "the old Willis place," things begin to change. Diana is desperate to meet this new girl and have a friend--and she's willing to break the rules if she has to.
Breaking the rules is extremely dangerous. What will happen if Diana meets and talks to Lissa? Will the ghost of the vengeful Miss Willis harm the children? This ghostly tale is filled with suspense, danger, and a touching sadness as the siblings learn about the world around them--the world that they oddly don't know much about.