James Duffy The Doll Hospital

ISBN 13: 9780590418607

The Doll Hospital

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9780590418607: The Doll Hospital

Unwell for a long time herself, Alison sets up a doll hospital where she can help others, and eventually goes into the hospital herself for an experimental treatment that might cure her once and for all.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Eight-year-old Alison is an invalid with an undisclosed, life-threatening malady. Her only friends, other than her too-good-to-be-true 13-year-old brother Christopher, are her dolls Nettie and Boodles, who talk only to her. After Alison nurses new doll Denise through the measles, she opens a doll hospital, with Christopher as head doctor and Nettie as supervising nurse. Neighborhood children send in their sick and wounded dolls. Alison's health improves dramatically, then, just as dramatically, fails. Her doctor gives her a sick doll that is cured with the help of his experimental medicine. Then Alison goes into the hospital for a round of experimental medicine that likewise miraculously cures her. The plot of this book is remarkable for its predictability and complete lack of tension. Alison and the other human characters are cloyingly sympathetic (what bedridden child doesn't misbehave sometimes?), and it isn't made clear whether the dolls' speech and actions are meant to be magically real, or just a lonely child's fantasies. Dull and precious. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6-- Eight-year-old Alison, an invalid for as long as she can remember, realizes that she is different from everyone else. She counts her brother Christopher and her dolls and stuffed animals as her best friends. When Denise, her beautiful French doll, comes down with the measles, Alison convinces Christopher to help her convert Mama's old sewing room into a doll hospital. The two children decide to accept outside patients, and the doll hospital begins to play a significant role in Alison's own medical treatment and recovery. In this quiet, old-fashioned story, the characters, even the dolls and animals that come to life, are not fully developed. The plot is predictable, and there is too little action in this slow-moving tale to capture and hold young readers' attention. Unexciting fare. --Bonnie Wheatley, Emma Conn Elementary School, Raleigh, N.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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