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The Doll by J. Burke
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The Doll

by J. Burke

Other authors: Shaun Tan (Illustrator)

Series: After Dark (book 14)

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Showing 4 of 4
Easy reader. Simple sentences, that sounds like it was written by a child. This book would be good for a beginning or struggling reader. ( )
  MsBigfoot | Mar 19, 2016 |
A three foot, antique, china doll arrives in the mail from France for Caroline's family. From her grandmother on her father's side, the doll has been in the family for a hundred years. But once the box is open, her mother becomes very ill, and the doll inexplicably is always in the vicinity the worse she gets. Once she is hospitalized, Caroline discovers the dolls intention...to harm her baby sister, Annie. ( )
  candyceutter | Dec 2, 2015 |
Originally published in Australia, this short and very simple chapter book has been reprinted by the American publisher Stone Arch Books, which specializes in "Hi-Lo" books. These are books that are aimed at older students who are reading well below their appropriate age and grade level - "high interest, low level."

It took less than twenty minutes to actually read this title, which follows the story of young Caroline, who becomes convinced that an evil doll is making her mother ill. The suspense, elements of horror, and thirteen-year-old protagonist, all make this a good book for reluctant older readers.

But although I have been a reading tutor, at various points, and have an interest in "Hi-Lo" books, my primary motivation in picking up The Deadly Doll was to look at Shaun Tan's illustrations. These are mostly black & white etchings, very different in style from the intricate and colorful paintings to be found in The Red Tree or The Rabbits, and I had mixed feelings about them. Some seemed a little crude to me, given the delicacy required for this style; others left me indifferent; and one or two seemed truly inspired. The best of the lot was the picture of Caroline and her father at the kitchen table, which somehow managed to communicate a sense of both intimacy and eerieness.

Interest Level: Grades 5-9, Ages 10-14
Reading Level: Grades 2-3 ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jun 28, 2013 |
I picked this little book up at the library since I'm trying to get my hands on every book that Shaun Tan, of The Arrival and The Lost Thing fame, has collaborated on. This one featured lovely little etchings by the artist, which were the perfect accompaniment to what I thought was a terrifying story: a package containing a large antique doll which has been in the family for over a hundred years arrives in the mail from France one day; our young heroine used to collect dolls, but at thirteen, she's much too old for them, so she plonks the unwelcome toy down on a chair and promptly forgets about it; but the doll has a will of her own, and won't be ignored.

I've always been really spooked by old china dolls, and this story expresses exactly the kind of horror that those unseeing shiny glass eyes have always inspired in me. Really scary. But as it's a children's/YA book, it has a happy ending of course. Or does it? ( )
1 vote Smiler69 | Jun 28, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Burke, J.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tan, ShaunIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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When Claudine's family receives in the mail a beautiful old French doll that has been in the family for generations, no one anticipates its malevolent intentions.

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