A family of dolls--ones that walk and talk among themselves when humans are asleep--renews nine-year-old Melissa's interest in life when she faces four months on her back with a broken hip. "Stover captures . . . the ambiance of a warm, 19th-Century family story, and an element of fantasy."--School Library Journal.
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Grade 3-5-- Nine-year-old Melissa would rather run a footrace than play with dolls, but it is a family of dolls and a dollhouse that renew her interest in life when she faces four months flat on her back with a broken hip. The dolls seem almost able to communicate with her, and indeed they do talk and walk among themselves when humans are asleep. While Melissa is recovering, her cousin Valerie comes from South Carolina to visit. The Southern family suffered greatly in the Civil War, and is about to lose their plantation to carpetbaggers; only the discovery of a lost family treasure can save them. The dolls, with the help of a small wooden newcomer who knows a bit about voodoo, guide Melissa to the clue that leads to buried gold. Stover captures, in a readable style, the ambiance of a warm, 19th-century family story, and she introduces at the same time an element of fantasy. The dolls' own lives mesh smoothly with the imaginary world the girls create for them, and their interaction with Melissa is believable. The somewhat prickly relationship between the two cousins is well handled, as is Melissa's coming to terms with the lameness with which she must learn to live. Not on the same literary level as Rumer Godden's The Story of Holly and Ivy (Penguin, 1985) or Burnett's Racketty-Packetty House (Lippincott, 1975) , but a sunny, satisfying book that is readily accessible to today's readers. --Tatiana Castleton, Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, CA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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