Saturday, October 24, 2015

Class Act, Module 9: Mysteries featuring The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright

As y'all know, I'm a Library Science student at University of North Texas. This semester I have the pleasure of taking an AWESOME class called Literature for Youth! One of the things we have to do is read some books from a list my Prof has provided us and then make up a blog and post reviews over what we've read. CLEARLY this is right up my alley! So, instead of making a completely different blog, every Saturday I'm going to start posting this new feature! 


Audiobook,  3 parts
Released: July 1, 1995
Published by: Scholastic Paperbacks
Source: Library

      Book Summary: After a very large fight with her mother, Amy wants nothing more to do with them right now. Before she loses her cool, she decides to run to her aunt. In the end her aunt gives her a way out. She let's her come live with her for awhile. But when she gets there, strange things begin to happen. Things that involve a very pretty dollhouse that Amy can't help but be drawn to.  

Reference: Wright, B. (1995). The Dollhouse Murders. Scholastic.


     I remember hearing about this book back when I was younger but I never read it. Which is very strange because mysteries have always been a favorite genre of mine. Whatever my reasoning was, I'm glad I fixed it now. 
     I think I enjoyed this most because it held everything that makes a good mystery. Problem solving, finding and examining evidence, and motives. For it to be a middle grade novel, it still had all of these things, but in the appropriate way for the age group. 
     For instance, the children are all about twelve years old, so they are doing things that mostly twelve year olds do like sleep-overs and going to the mall. They also got their evidence in a way that young children would have in this situation. They were considered "amateur sleuths" who found their own evidence and then proceeded to find out what happened on their own. 
     What I liked most about this one was the way it not only made the reader want to know what was happening with the dollhouse, but what was also scaring them as well. Being honest, this would have scared me back then and I wouldn't have enjoyed it much, but now I've read and can honestly say I did really like it. 
     The only thing I didn't like about it, was the fact that there was no real explanation of what happened. The author never gives a clear definition as to what actually happened. so there was nothing really solved. Isn't that what they are meant to do? 
Overall, I give this

Professionals are Saying...

Grade 4-6-This scary mystery by Betty Ren Wright (Scholastic, 1995) is sure to keep the interest of students, mainly girls. Narrator Carol Jordan Stewart does an excellent job. Her diction, pacing, and characterization are well-done. Twelve-year-old Amy is having difficulties at home being responsible for her brain-damaged sister, Louann. While visiting her Aunt Clare at the old family home, she discovers an eerily-haunted dollhouse in the attic-an exact replica of the family home. Whenever she sees it, the dolls, representing her relatives, have moved. Her aunt won't listen to Amy's claims that the dolls are trying to tell her something. This leads Amy to research old news reports where she discovers a family secret-the murder of her grandparents. The two sisters unravel the mystery. Amy grows to accept her sister and to understand that Louann is more capable than she had first thought. This audiobook would be an excellent choice for schools and public libraries.

Retrieved from: Kohlbeck, K. (n.d.).  [Review of the book The dollhouse murders by Betty Ren Wright].  School Library Journal.  Retrieved from

Library Uses:

     It would be pretty cool to use this book in a display for "Whodunit" books. This can be a great asset to the display because it is scary as well as a mystery. This display would be great to have during Halloween. 

Book Image from:


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