Amy needs a bit of a break from her family. Her mother has been on her case about not looking after her sister, Luann, who needs constant supervision. Luckily, her Aunt Clare is in town, getting her grandparents' (Amy's great-grandparents') house ready to sell (it sat vacant for many years). While staying at Aunt Clare's, Amy discovers a dollhouse that is a mini-replica of the house itself. Soon Amy starts hearing strange noises and the dolls seem to move on their own. As she learns more about Aunt Clare's dark and tragic history, she knows that something dangerous is at work in the house and it's up to her to figure it out.
This is exactly the kind of book I was talking about in my recent post on Mary Downing Hahn. It's creepy, it's strange, and I would have eaten it up as a fifth-grader. (It's still creepy and strange, but I was reading it in a doctor's waiting room, so I think that took away a bit from the atmosphere). The adult characters are kind of puzzling: Amy's mom sees Amy more as a babysitter/Luann's constant companion than as a young girl in her own right, and Aunt Clare swings back and forth between impulsively wild, responsible adult, angry child, and just plain scary. Of course, if someone was coming to me with a story of dolls that moved on their own, I don't think I would believe them at first, either. Anyway, I'm glad I found this book. Don't miss the review at Bookshelves of Doom (it's what prompted me to seek out the book).
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
A Ghost in the Family by Betty Ren Wright
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
The Name of the Game was Murder by Joan Lowery Nixon