My son just finished up 4th grade. He is in the gifted program where each teacher has a very large bookshelf filled with great selections for the kids to take home whenever they wish. One of my favorite things to do this past school year was to browse that bookshelf to get ideas for my own reading! One day I was in the classroom with my daughter and we started talking about her reading level with the teacher. My daughter just finished 2nd grade but reads above her grade level. The teacher had a whole set of The Doll People, by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, on hand and she let us take one home. She said this is a book she has her reluctant (girl) readers tackle and after reading it I can see why. This book is tons of fun! My daughter and I read most of this book together, but she read ahead on her own several times when she just had to find out what happened before I had time to sit down with her again!
Summary: (from Amazon.com - Review) - Annabelle Doll is 8 years old--and has been for over 100 years. Nothing much has changed in the dollhouse during that time, except for the fact that 45 years ago, Annabelle's Auntie Sarah disappeared from the dollhouse without a trace. After all this time, restless Annabelle is becoming more and more curious about her aunt's fate. And when she discovers Auntie Sarah's old diary, she becomes positively driven. Her cautious family tries to discourage her, but Annabelle won't be stopped, even though she risks Permanent Doll State, in which she could turn into a regular, nonliving doll. And when the "Real Pink Plastic" Funcraft family moves in next door, the Doll family's world is turned upside down--in more ways than one!
Why it is Marvelous: This book is all about good, clean, adventurous fun! I love the imaginative world these authors have created and the wonderful illustrations (by Brian Selznick of The Invention of Hugo Cabret) that bring it to life. The details of doll life provide a lot of humorous situations that keep the overall feel of this book light-hearted. The pace is moved along by the mystery of Auntie Sarah's disappearance, and Annabelle Doll's and her new friend Tiffany's determination to find her. Throw in a pesky house cat that must be avoided at all costs, until the end where he might be their only saving grace, and you have a captivating adventure that I found hard to put down!
There are three books in this series: The Doll People (2003), The Meanest Doll in the World (2005), and The Runaway Dolls (2008). Their popularity continues through today as they are still well stocked at Barnes and Noble, ready for the next young (or old) reader to fall in love.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (MMGM) was created by Shannon Messenger. To find other bloggers participating in MMGM go to her blog for a list of links.