Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mysterious Dolls Come Alive in Spooky Tale

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mysterious Dolls Come Alive in Spooky Tale

Article excerpt

It may be snowing outside and most folks are probably hunkering down for the winter holidays. But I'm still looking for a deliciously spooky book to read.

Luckily, I found one with lots of things that go bump in the night. It's Lois Ruby's "The Doll Graveyard: A Hauntings Novel" (Scholastic, $6.99, ages 8-12).

Meet Shelby Tate, who is 11 years old, soon to be 12, and her 9- year-old brother, Brian. They live with their mom and dad in Denver, but their lives get flipped when their parents get a divorce. How could their dad find a new family when he's already got one?

One afternoon Mom makes Shelby and Brian visit their ancient Aunt Amelia in the hospital. Much to everyone's surprise, she leaves Mrs. Tate her big old house and enough money to start up an Internet soup business.

Shelby's mom isn't the only person to inherit from Aunt Amelia. Brian receives a ceremonial pipe, and Shelby accepts a lacy doll cap. Shelby and Brian can't fathom why they were left those items, but that's the least of their concerns once they realize that they have to move.

Moving the 200 miles from Denver to Cinder Creek is the last thing Shelby needs. She'll have to meet new friends, go to a new school and leave Dad behind with his new family.

The first thing you should know about the house in Cinder Creek is that it's old. It was built in 1929 by an oil tycoon and it smells funny. And what was it that Aunt Amelia said about not letting the reality show "America's Most Amazing" film a documentary in the creepy house?

The second thing you should know: The house already has tenants.

They're small dolls that open their eyes and move around when no one's looking. Add a spooky dollhouse that's a small replica of the house that Shelby now lives in and a miniature doll graveyard behind the house (five graves to be exact), and you've got the recipe for a ghostly mystery.

Some parents may not be comfortable with the supernatural elements. And readers at the younger end of the age range might find the atmosphere a bit too creepy. …

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