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05 April 2010


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OMG! I remember this book. Now I want it.


This book made me look at my dollhouse in a whole new way. I eventually had my parents move it to the garage.


Oh wow, I remember LOVING this book and finding it so scary! I'm glad to hear that the scare factor holds up!


Scared the crap out me, this book did. I wonder what happened to my old copy?


Dig it out, kids -- seriously worth a re-read!


I'm glad it holds up (Because I give this book to kids all the time). I'd love to revisit it to look at the adults, but man, just the *thought* of this book still gives me nightmares, so maybe not...


Oh man, I LOVED that book when I was young! I bet it's still in my mother's basement somewhere, I may need to go dig it out now.

Brooke Shirts

Oh-ho, this is the book that everyone in fourth grade passed to each other under their desks. I know I read it, but I can't for the life of me remember a darn thing about it, excepting the dolls moving around by themselves.

As for the NYT article, I'm definitely in your camp, although I'm glad the article cited "Shiver," which had some of the most irritatingly conveniently-oblivious parents ever. Sheesh, the hot werewolf is living with the protagonist for nearly a month before either parent even NOTICES him. Come on.


I remember this book terrifying me when I was younger - no wonder I'm still creeped out by dolls.


This book scared me so much that I got freaked out all over again just reading your review, and it's probably been about 15 years since I last read it. (Naturally, because it was the scariest book ever, I reread it at least five times as a child.)

Liz B

this book I read as an adult and found it creepy. But talking about terrifying books...I read a book as a kid that was a short story collection. Something ghostly from Scholastic Book Club, so "age appropriate." One was about a guy who axe murdered his wife, and her ax-murdered body haunted the basement, and a kid moved in. Anyway, that one story and the illustrations that went with it freaked me out so much I threw the book away.

Yes, I said AND THE ILLUSTRATIONS. To my ten year old self, they were horrifying. I think its the only time I ever threw a book out.

On a positive note, the nightmares went away. I have no idea what the name of the book was.


SCARY! Aaaand now, of course, I want to read it. Time to do some research!


Oh, that Apple Paperbacks cover is so familiar. I think the Barthe DeClements books were also in that imprint; the book I remember most vividly (I think these all came through book fairs or book orders) besides The Dollhouse Murders is You Shouldn't Have to Say Goodbye by Patricia Hermes. Mother dies of cancer. Good book.

Miss Print

Thanks for mentioning Just's crazy essay and also pointing me to Liz B's thoughts on it. I'm trying to organize a bit of a response to that essay's claim about the YA parent problem.

As such, this is an official invitation to join my "Finding the 'good' parents in YA Lit" challenge and post your own list of books with "good" parents.

You can find all the information here:



This book and Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp scared the bejeezus out of me at a very impressionable age--and I've loved them ever since. The other memorable scare from that age was an afterschool TV version of The House with the Clock in Its Walls, where the old witch's shadow looms up the wall toward poor Louis Barnavelt and she laughs the most terrifying laugh I'd ever heard at that point (I was in third grade). I had to sleep with the lights on for a month after that. The book isn't all that scary, though like all of John Bellairs' books it's wonderful.


Oooh, goody -- I'll have to track down a copy of Jane-Emily. Thanks, Reka!

kiks lee

Where is claiborne in and why does barbras husband go into the hospital? please someone help me im doing a book project on it

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