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The Red Ghost by Marion Dane Bauer
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The Red Ghost

by Marion Dane Bauer

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Jenna is sure she’s gotten a great deal when she finds the beautiful doll at her neighbor’s garage sale--a deal that gets even better when the neighbor gives it to her, free of charge. But Jenna quickly realizes there’s something strange about this doll… a weird look in its eyes, the way Jenna’s cat hates it, the rustling noise it makes in the closet. Jenna’s sister doesn’t want the doll, either, declaring it “full,” though she can’t explain what it’s full of. What kind of secrets is this doll hiding? Is it possible for a doll to be haunted?

This is the kind of story I’d have been all over when I was 7 or 8--a creepy ghost story involving sentient dolls? Sign me up! As an adult, I wanted to see more from it--the back story of who the ghost might be is dropped in as an expository chunk, and we don’t see much of the ghost. For the target audience, though, this is creepy without being terrifying.

Readers who like this and want something longer should check out Ann M. Martin’s The Doll People or Marjorie Stover’s When The Dolls Woke. Older kids who like the concept but want something much scarier can be steered toward William Sleator’s Among the Dolls or Betty Ren Wright’s The Dollhouse Murders. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is a creepy little story about two girls who are given a doll. At first she seems like a pretty enough doll, but when they start hearing her "say" things and realize they don't even want to keep her in the house they have a mystery on their hands. Why is she so creepy? And how are they going to get rid of her?
  scducharme | Jun 21, 2009 |
It was a nice, short chapter book to read with the kids. A little scary and suspenseful... ( )
  rfewell | Jan 27, 2009 |
After Jenna gives her little sister an old doll dressed in red velvet as a birthday present, the occurrence of some very disturbing events make Jenna suspect the doll might be possessed. ( )
  prkcs | Jul 25, 2008 |
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After Jenna gives her little sister an old doll dressed in red velvet as a birthday present, the occurrence of some very disturbing events make Jenna suspect the doll might be possessed.

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