FICTION

The Doll Graveyard

256p. (Hauntings). Scholastic. Jun. 2014. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780545617864; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9780545620659.
COPY ISBN
Gr 4–6—As Shelby's life begins to morph into a new normal after her parents' divorce, things get complicated by the dolls in residence at her new house. Formerly owned by her great-aunt, the house has been in her family for years and contains ancient items, among them a collection of dolls seeking revenge for the poor treatment they suffered at the hands of their previous owner. Shelby is haunted by the creepy sounds, and the fact that the dolls won't stay buried in their graveyard. As she learns about former residents, Shelby begins to work through the anger she's harbored since her parents' separation. When the haunting high jinks escalate, it's up to Shelby to make peace with the past both for the sake of the dolls and for herself. The scare factor for this book is fairly tame for the intended audience. The treatment of life for a family post-divorce is realistic and strong. The main character navigates a difficult issue for preteen girls: that of finding her place in the social hierarchy at a new school. The management of Shelby's issues reads a bit stronger overall than the horror sequences, making this a book that could be recommended for more than just those looking for a thrill, especially because the scary elements aren't too graphic.—Samantha Lumetta, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

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