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Dollhouse Murders

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,400 Ratings  ·  549 Reviews
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 do ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published February 1st 1985 by Scholastic (first published 1983)
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Aug 27, 2011 Johanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ah, 1987 was a good year. A little Johanna received this book as the summer commenced and she read, oh she read. She read the crap out of this book and then eyed the dollhouse looming in the corner of her shared bedroom with distrust and concern. She decided that she did not wish to get murdered by the inhabitants first, so she pushed it against the wall nearer to her sister's bed. "Poor Becky," she thought, "she is going to have to meet her maker someday, hopefully sooner than later (as Becky w ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Apr 29, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: Rachel Miller
Like R.L. Stine and Mary Downing Hahn, the late Betty Ren Wright weaves a tale sure to terrify any tween. But more than just delicious chills imbues The Dollhouse Murders.

Amy Treloar, nearly 13 years old, can’t help resent her 11-year-old brain-damaged sister Louann. Louann’s inappropriate behavior leaves Amy with few friends but lots of anger just under the surface until she finally explodes and runs off to her Aunt Claire, newly relocated from Chicago to the isolated family homestead outside o
Jan 03, 2010 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: december-09
I first picked up The Dollhouse Murders a little around five years ago, when I was a kid. I read it, it chilled me, I moved to another city, and slowly I forgot the title. Somedays the idea of the book came rushing back, and I was frustrated that I could not remember the title to reread it, at least, until I found the title in my brother's book order.

The Dollhouse Murders is about a girl named Amy who moves in with her aunt to try and escape some stress at home. One day she discovers a dollhous
Colleen Venable
I don't care what anyone says. Scholastic is BRILLIANT for keeping this amazingly bad cover. No revision could be as terrifying and wasn't that the whole point? This was the sort of cover I would have taped paper over when I was little just like I always did when I read THE WITCHES and any Bruce Coville where an adult was taking off their human face to reveal an alien one beneath.

Yeah, book covers were so much better in the 80's.

All and all not a bad story and certainly freaked the begeebees o
Rebecca McNutt
I used to love this book when I was a kid, and for a middle-grade fiction novel is really deals with serious issues in a surprisingly in-depth and understanding way. The main character is a young girl left looking after her sister who suffers from brain damage, and things only get more intense when the dollhouse comes into the picture.
Found this at a thrift store to add to my juvenile literature collection. I love books about miniature people, and don't have any in my own collection.

A teen girl who's feeling overwhelmed from taking care of her brain-damaged sister after school decides to spend a few weeks with her aunt, who is staying in her deceased parents' house and planning to clean it out so she can sell it and return to her life in Chicago. The girl finds a doll house in the attic (natch), and it comes with four dolls:
Apr 08, 2008 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book, but somehow had forgotten all about it until I saw someone's review on here. I remember that I had an intense reaction to the conclusion of the story, feeling like I had been punched in the stomach. I don't even really remember what happened, just that the dolls moved around and revealed who the real killer was. Perfect way to creep oneself out before bed!
Amy is 12 years old, about to be 13 and she is tired of taking care of her sister. Amy's sister, Louanna, is mentally challenged. One day at the mall, when Amy was supposed to spend the day with her friend Ellen and she was made to bring Louanna, everything goes wrong. Amy has had enough and tells her mother so.
But all her mother tells her is that she is selfish, that she is cruel and she is a girl that has everything. Amy becomes so upset that she runs to her Aunt Clare, who is currently stayin
Addy Browning
Feb 20, 2012 Addy Browning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok so what do you want to know about? Oh right, the book! It starts off with a girl, Amy, who has a mom a dad and a sister, Louannn, who thinks she is annoying. Her family can be a little bit frustrating, and one time she gets so angry she runs all the way over to a old family mansion, where her aunt is staying for a few weeks. Amy decides to stay with her aunt.

When they go up to the attic there is a doll house just waiting with bad memories. Amy finds the old doll house full of mysteries.

The Dollhouse Murders is equal parts "Mystery that you aren't meant to collect little clues and solve on your own before Sherlock does" and ham-fisted, saccharin "everyone is important, so love for all." Amy lives with her mother, father, and her developmentally disabled sister Louann. Amy is 12 year-old and is sick of having to take care of Louann. Louann is constantly making a scene and causing Amy to have a hard time making and keeping friends. Amy's aunt Clare is in town, clearing out Amy's ...more
Oh Scholastic, you knew how to get me to part with my hard earned allowance. Scary books dealing with dolls coming to life was a pretty common theme in the 80's. This book scared the CRAP out of me the first time around, and I recently found it used for super cheap and it still kind of gave me the creeps. Behind the Attic Wall trumps Dollhouse Murders but barely.
Hannah Wagner
Sep 17, 2015 Hannah Wagner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amy's small sister Louann has a mental disorder and Amy has to take care of her most of the time, because both of their parents work the whole day. Many of Amy's classmates know about that she has to take care of her little sister, so Amy doesn't really have friends. When Amy is really sick of her responsibility and has a big fight about Louann with her parents, mostly her mum, her aunt Claire takes Amy under her wings and suggests that Amy could live with her for some time. The only problem is ...more
I forgot how much I loved this book. It was probably the book that started my love with all things paranormal.

12-year-old Amy struggles to make friends as she is often called upon to take care of her 11-year-old developmentally disabled sister Louann. After fleeing to her Aunt Clare, who is currently staying in an old family home to ready it for sale, after an argument with her mother it is determined Amy should stay with Aunt Clare for a while. Amy finds her aunt's childhood dollhouse in the at
Oct 12, 2009 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Dollhouse Murders stands up well as a good mystery, decades after its first printing.
Betty Ren Wright has done a commendable job on constructing a different sort of mystery story that is successfully multi-dimensional in its thrust. I think that the temptation in many such stories is to focus almost exclusively on the eerieness of the supernatural events that occur, but The Dollhouse Murders stands tall on several more levels. The author has taken the time and effort to form a family that
Jan 30, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book about a young girl named Amy, who upon having a argument with her mom over her sister Louann, which is brain-damaged, runs to her aunts house and is invited to stay awhile. Upon staying there she finds a dollhouse, which is an exact replica of the house her aunt lives in now. Her a friend find some dolls that go with the house and then leave it to go downstairs. Later that night just before supper, she remembers she forgot to close the dollhouse and goes to close it, only to realize on ...more
Like so many pre-adolescents, I went through my scary book phase, and devoured the offerings of Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, and authors of similar ilk, and The Dollhouse Murders was just one among many (though I do remember enjoying it enough to re-read it several times).

I just picked it up again, some 15 years or so later, and I was actually completely sucked in again. The characters are well fleshed out, there are a lot of things going on, and the suspense is excellent. I was reading this la
Anna W
Mar 24, 2013 Anna W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-read
I have recently read Betty Ren Wrights Dollhouse murders. In this book Amy the main charicter has a sister with disabilities. Her mom makes her take care of her sister and leaves her no time for her friends. Amy spends a few weeks at her aunts house there is a miniture dollhouse that looks just like her aunts house. When she plays with the dollhouse the dolls move and aroun midnight there is an eerie green light. Is the dollhouse trying to tell her somthing about the gory murders of her great-gr ...more
May 05, 2011 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I picked this up after finding it on a list of recommendations for middle grade horror. For such a corny title, I admit I was expecting a corny book, but it was anything but that. I thought it was excellent! My elementary school library must not have had the book, because I'm sure I would have found it and loved it back then.

The mystery is solid, given the age group of the intended audience, and I found parts of it to be genuinely creepy, even reading this as an adult.

The part that really shone
 ~♡~ Unsolved Mystery ~♡~

- My Description -
Amy goes to stay with her Aunt in a big country house that belonged to her great grandparents.
She discovers a beautiful dollhouse that is the exact replica of the one she's staying in.
She notices strange things going on with the dollhouse.
She sets out to uncover the mystery surrounding the dollhouse...

- My Review -
I wanted to re-read an old childhood read of mine, and this book is it.

The one thing I didn't like about this book is the way Amy's mentally challenged sister is t
Rachel Miller
Jan 17, 2015 Rachel Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was around 10 or so and could not put it down! It was the perfect spine-tingling story for me, and revealed to me my love for mystery and horror books.
V. Gingerich
I liked the way the main character worked through her feelings toward her mentally challenged little sister. That's all. Why did I read this? Did someone recommend it?
Eliza Maxwell
Aug 07, 2013 Eliza Maxwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely terrifying as a child. I was probably about nine when I read it, and still today, at 36, just thinking about the book creeps me out enough to turn on a light if it happens to be late at night. Little moving dolls made to resemble murdered family members, including the baby brother, that continually reposition themselves into the positions that they were killed in... What a creep-fest. And if I remember correctly, it was on some sort of school summer reading list! Because ...more
Karen B.
After reading so many reviews by adults saying this was their favorite book in around the 5th grade I became intrigued and had to try it myself. My own children may have read it and I just didn't know but I wanted something short to read this afternoon. Great entertainment and if my girls were younger I would recommend it to them.
Amy is just turning 13 and is annoyed with younger sister who is mentally challenged. It seems she is always responsible for her sister and her sister seems to cramp he
Wayne S.
May 15, 2015 Wayne S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twelve, almost thirteen, year old Amy Treloar lives in Claiborne with her father, mother, and eleven year old sister Louann who is brain damaged and attends Stadler School for Exceptional Children. Amy’s new best friend at her school is Ellen Kramer whose family has just recently moved to town. Amy is tired of constantly having to help take care of her sister, so when her father’s sister, Aunt Clare, returns from her home in Chicago temporarily to get the old house of Amy’s great-grandparents ne ...more
Kathryn Reeder
Dec 08, 2014 Kathryn Reeder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Decker
Amy discovers a dollhouse that's a perfect replica of her aunt's house. This is pretty amazing, but then the dolls in it start to pantomime a murder, reenacting it every night as if to communicate about something awful that happened. Amy's got to work with her disabled sister Louann to convince the adults that the dolls are trying to tell them what really happened to their grandparents.

This story was frightening for me as a kid, but I was a wimp. I liked dollhouses, and definitely thought it wou
Charlotte Hunter
in THE DOLLHOUSE MURDERS, one of Wright's earlier books, she addresses the pressure felt by an adolescent girl, Amy, whose sister, Ellen, is mentally challenged (albeit highly functional) and whose mother (apparently) refuses to explore community resources for this sister. Wright doesn't hesitate to depict Amy's complex feelings: Amy loves Ellen, but she resents having to be her sister's keeper every afternoon and evening, until their parents come home. Amy is embarrassed by her sister's clumsin ...more
Kelly Hager
Sep 28, 2015 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this when I was little and being incredibly creeped out by it. (I mean, yeah, Toy Story is adorable and all but the idea of your toys actually moving around by themselves is horrifying.)

I haven't read this book in easily 25 years or so, so I remembered some very broad strokes (dolls move by themselves and dollhouse seems to reenact the murder of Amy's great-grandparents) but had forgotten everything else (Amy's sister---who is the reason she's staying with her aunt to begin wi
The Dollhouse Murders is the first chapter book that my sister ever read (over 25 years ago!), and ever since then she's been encouraging me to read it. I'm glad I did!

The book, aimed at 4th-6th graders, is creepy and chilling without being too intense for kids in this age range. In fact, today's kids probably wouldn't even bat an eye at the "scary" stuff, so I guess the label "creepy" should be taken with a grain of salt. Be that as it may, I enjoyed the eerie aspects of the book, and I also li
I know that I read this multiple times as a kid, when I was going through my supernatural/mystery phase, but didn't really remember the details much. And I admit that the creepy attic, dolls moving around on their own scenes still gave me chills this time around. I guess I'm just that much of a wimp, and it's a good thing I read it on a bright Saturday morning.

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best book 6 31 Jan 05, 2015 01:40AM  
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Betty Ren Wright is an author of children's fiction including The Dollhouse Murders, The Ghosts Of Mercy Manor and A Ghost in The House among others.

She was born June 15, 1927 in the U.S. and she is currently working on her 26th novel. Ms. Wright lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with her husband, George Frederiksen, a painter.
More about Betty Ren Wright...

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