This is the first Halloween-themed read for me this year, and I hope that you all will enjoy. A book from Majanka Verstraete that is geared for readers aged 6 – 10, but from my experience this is a story that will give chills to every reader.
When my daughter was little, dolls were a staple in our house. From pretty Carollee to Cabbage Patch, the search for dolls that did nothing but exist to spur imagination was on. When a catalog arrived that promised to use a likeness of your child to create a doll, I found them creepy. One of our friends was making porcelain dolls, and she made one with ‘always open’ eyes. That thing was just horrible, and always managed to end up under something in the back of my daughter’s closet. So, the idea for this story was completely understandable to me, and I am sure, many children.
With the feel of a story told around a campfire, or during a sleepover, Majanka Verstraete tells the story of the new doll maker in Weirdville, and the trouble one doll brings to an older brother. When Annie gets ‘everything’ and wants the doll, Tim, Derek is convinced something isn’t quite right with the doll or the shop it came from.
Lifeless in front of everyone but his sister, Derek is convinced the doll is stalking him, and that the doll maker is up to no good. When he recounts tales of the animating doll, his parents believe he is lying, and while he doesn’t claim to always be honest, he is deeply hurt.
The twists in this story are deliciously creepy: scary in that give you a chill and perhaps make you put all the dolls in the house under lock and key. In a fairly short time, Derek is easy to relate to with those issues common to all siblings, and a curiosity that begs to be fed. Geared for readers aged 6 – 10, this story is a perfect read for the Halloween season, with just enough creep factor to be scary, but not so much that nightmares will ensue.
The kids in this story are in the forefront: with appropriate recognition of their own limits and abilities, and honest communication of their fears and concerns: even when the adults are not listening. Enough twists and action to keep engaged, while the story does present a satisfactory ending, for the moment.
Title: The Doll Maker
Author: Majanka Verstraete
Genre: Children's Literature
Published by: Evolved Publishing
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls, staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Now they’re stuck with a doll that looks so human, it gives Derek the creeps.
When Derek tells his friends, Martin and Jamie, about the new shop with creepy human-like dolls, they want to see for themselves. That has “bad idea” written all over it, but he takes his friends there anyway.
They meet the mysterious doll maker, who reminds Derek of Dr. Frankenstein, and who brainwashes Martin into buying one of those scary dolls. Derek and Jamie push and pull Martin out of the shop, but something isn’t right with their friend. He’s shivering all over, and he has no memory of what happened in the shop.
Martin’s condition worsens every day, and Derek’s sister grows more and more obsessed with her new doll. Derek and Jamie have to find out what’s going on, and fast, because...
...the doll maker seems linked to a bunch of mysterious disappearances, and the last thing Derek wants is his sister, or his friend, being next on the doll maker’s list.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.