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The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story Paperback – June 18, 2007
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"A captivating fantasy that explores friendship, grief and the interconnectedness of events in time." —Publishers Weekly
From the Author
- Publisher : Clarion Books; Reprint edition (June 18, 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0618873155
- ISBN-13 : 978-0618873159
- Reading age : 6 - 9 years
- Lexile measure : 800L
- Grade level : 1 - 4
- Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.13 x 0.39 x 7.63 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #60,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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By IRod on January 20, 2019
She has a talent for seamlessly enduring characters and story lines that also have valuable lessons. Her material teaches morals, sympathy, empathy and so much more. They are also stories that can be very important for kids going through something similar to what the characters are enduring in the story line. In this case moving to a new location after the loss of a parent and all the things that go with that. It's a neat little mystery and ghost story all rolled into one about struggle, friendship and doing what's right.
This story does not disappoint. It is a five star read from a five star author.
The book does a particularly admirable job tackling the issues of death and grief, and also makes the reader consider the thought of a spirit world so perhaps this might make younger, more sensitive readers uncomfortable. The writing makes for a descriptive and realistic read despite the ghost story, but there are moments of adult language poking through 10-year-old Ashley's thoughts and I did think the sudden, seemingly complete turnaround of Ms. Cooper was a bit unusual. Nonetheless, the author has created a delightful book that will haunt the mind and heart and leave the reader with warm fuzzies in the end.
A young girl who has recently lost her father moves into a leased apartment with her mother who is trying to complete her PhD thesis. They move into the home of Ms. Cooper, a grouchy old woman who makes them feel like interlopers. Together with another young girl, Kristi, the two girls find an old doll buried in Ms. Cooper's garden. This leads them to discover another dimension where a very sick young girl Louisa lives with her Aunt Viola. Louisa desperately wants her doll back, but Ms. Cooper refuses to give it up. There's some element of fantasy here involving a cat with no shadow named Snowball who leads the girls into another realm where time rewinds itself to almost seventy years previously.
I felt the narrative was not as cohesive or well-plotted as some of Ms. Hahn's other works. This was a disappointing read to me, and though I think tweens might get into the flimsy plot, I do not think this would appeal to older readers, unlike some of her other works which hold wider appeal for readers of all ages.