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Month in review

Reviews:
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Blocked by Geoff Ryman
A Busy Day at the Farm by Doreen Cronin
Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss
The Cat Who Wasn't a Dog by Marian Babson
Coolies by Yin
D.A. by Connie Willis
Detective Small and the Amazing Banana Caper by Wong Herbert Yee
Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng Chiang by Terrance Dicks
The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright
The Far Shore by Elizabeth Hand
Ghost Ship by Dietlof Reiche
Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex
Henry the Sailor Cat by Mary Calhoun
Henry's Show and Tell by Nancy Carlson
Her by Laura Zigman
I Love You, Mama, Any Time of the Year by Nancy Whilte Carlstrom
I Spy a School Bus by Jean Marzollo
The Knight at Dawn (Magic Tree House #2) by Mary Pope Osborne
Little Bo by Julie Andrews Edwards
Lost and Found by Jane Sigaloff
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
Monsters vs Aliens: Team Monster by Gale Herman
My First Time Board Book by Elizabeth Hester
Nana Volume 3 by Ai Yazawa
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Olivia Acts Out by Jodie Shepherd
Rules of the Net by Jennifer Guess McKerley
Shadowland (Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot
Shooting an Albatross by Steven R. Lundin
Sugar Time by Jane Adams
Time and Time Again by James Hilton
Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 13: Hobgoblin by Brian Michael Bendis
Viking Ships Before Sunrise (Magic Tree House #15) by Mary Pope Osborne
Wally the Walking Fish Meets Madinson and Cooper by Gary Lamit
The Woman Who Wouldn't by Gene Wilder
Why I Will Never Ever Ever Ever Have Enough Time to Read This Book by Remy Charlip
Zak: The One-of-a-Kind Dog by Jane Lidz
Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Dollhouse Murders

The Dollhouse Murders cover art (Link goes to Powells)The Dollhouse Murders: 02/06/10

I remember reading The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright in elementary school. It must have been right around the time when it was first published. I remember liking the idea of a haunted dollhouse but being annoyed by the book. When I saw the book at my library I decided to give it a second try. I liked it a lot more as an adult than I did as a child.

Amy needs some free time from her sister, Louann. Her sister is special needs, having suffered brain damage although I don't think how that happened is explained. Regardless, Louann needs extra help and Amy is stuck being the one always providing that extra care because their mother needs to work and money is tight. There isn't a father so their mother has the extra stress of being a single mother.

In the middle of all that family drama is a chance to get away for a birthday party at Aunt Clara's home. It's at the old family home where the ghost story takes center stage. In the attic is a model of the home with dolls representing the family as it was some fifteen or twenty years earlier. The dolls in the house replay the scene of a grisly murder that has been buried in family secrets all these years.

The ghost story by itself is chilling and terrifying. It though gets lost in the parallels the author is trying to draw between Clara and her brother and Amy and Louann. Add in Louann's problems, the added difficulties of being a single parent and basic sibling rivalries and the ghost story gets lost in the shuffle.

I said at the beginning that I liked it more as an adult. I did and I think it stems from me being now able to relate to the adults in the book. They are realistically portrayed even if the book as a whole is more complicated than it needs to be.

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Comments (6)

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Comment #1: Saturday, February, 6, 2010 at 17:50:11

Jenny

I'm so glad I didn't read this as a kid - it looks like it would have scared me to death. But I'd like to try it now that I'm all old and brave.



Comment #2: Monday, February 8, 2010 at 22:52:57

Pussreboots

I think it scared me more as an adult than it did as a kid.



Comment #3: Saturday, February, 6, 2010 at 23:05:19

Amy @ My Friend Amy

I've been meaning to reread this one! Glad to hear you enjoyed it more as an adult!



Comment #4: Monday, February 8, 2010 at 23:00:30

Pussreboots

It's worth a re-read. I feel like I got more out of it now than I did as a teen.



Comment #5: Sunday, February, 7, 2010 at 09:55:23

Jenn (Bibliolatrist)

wow - what a blast from the past! I remember reading this many years ago, although I don't remember what I thought of it. The premise freaks me out, though.



Comment #6: Monday, February 8, 2010 at 23:02:59

Pussreboots

I remembered reading it but didn't really remember much about the plot until I started re-reading it. I'm glad I re-read it.