- The Doll’s Eye by Marina Cohen
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-62672-204-0 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-62672-205-7 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-6
When her mom suddenly marries Ed, twelve-year-old Hadley finds herself with a new stepdad, a new stepbrother, and a new house. The drafty old place on Orchard Street is a far call away from her cozy Boston home, but exploring it still seems like a better option than pretending to enjoy Ed and his son’s company. Sneaking around a creepy house—especially one whose previous owners mysteriously disappeared—is rarely a good idea, though, as Hadley’s story soon demonstrates. Readers will quickly, and correctly, realize that Hadley’s decision to move the dusty dollhouse from the attic to her room will bring a heap of trouble and that her wish for a perfect family will have similarly unfortunate consequences. The ending’s a zinger, and any middle-grader who thought Hadley was going to make it out unscathed will be sorely mistaken. Cohen makes maximum use of creaking doors and strange shadows to create a delightfully chilling atmosphere, while an unnerving neighbor and whispered rumors heighten the suspense. This a quick readalike for or introduction to Betty Ren Wright’s The Dollhouse Murders. Reviewed from an unillustrated galley.