Marion Dane Bauer,
The Red Ghost
(Random House, 2008)

When Jenna finds a perfectly preserved antique doll at a yard sale, she thinks it would be a perfect gift for her 5-year-old sister, Quinn. When the elderly woman who owns it gives it to Jenna for free, she eagerly takes it home -- despite some unsettling feelings emanating from the pretty little thing.

Exquisitely dressed in red velvet, the doll continues to trouble Jenna, her best friend Dallas and her cat, Rocco. So she tries to give it to Quinn early, but the doll-crazy girl refuses the gift. The doll, she says, is already "full."

Soon, Jenna learns that getting rid of the doll won't be easy.

This is a good book for young readers -- unless your child, like my daughter, is really freaked out by ghosts. The fairly innocuous cover of this one was enough to spook my faint-hearted girl. Others should be fine with the story, which manages to be eerie without ever becoming actually frightening.

review by
Tom Knapp

8 November 2008

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