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The Doll Maker


4.67  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls, staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Now they’re stuck with a doll that looks so human, it gives Derek the creeps.

When Derek tells his friends, Martin and Jamie, about the new shop with creepy human-like dolls, they want to see for themselves. That has “bad
Paperback, 86 pages
Published September 23rd 2013 by Evolved Publishing LLC (first published September 8th 2013)
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Average rating 4.67  · 
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 ·  21 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Full review available at

I love children's literature, for two reasons.

1. It's where that love for reading really starts to bloom. I think parents should read to their kids on a regular basis, but I've noticed that it's often not until a youngster picks up a book for the first time and reads it on their own, that the love for reading really begins.

2.It has the potential to make kids interested in the world around them, and foster a variety of interests that parents may
Raven Reviewer
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Middle grade (ages 6-12)
Recommended to Raven by: Evolved Publishing
When a doll in a store window catches Annie’s eyes one day, Derek rolls his eyes. After their mother buys the doll, Derek soon wonders if there is more to this doll than meets the eye. Is the doll really alive?

Look out former fans of Chucky (and those who just ran away from here screaming)! I was just waiting for this doll to sit up and say, “Hi, I am Timmy. Wanna play?” Okay, so maybe I am exaggerating. This book, of course, was much tamer than Child’s Play. After all, this is a children’s book
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
With the feel of a story told around a campfire, or during a sleepover, Majanka Verstraete tells the story of the new doll maker in Weirdville, and the trouble one doll brings to an older brother. When Annie gets ‘everything’ and wants the doll, Tim, Derek is convinced something isn’t quite right with the doll or the shop it came from.

Lifeless in front of everyone but his sister, Derek is convinced the doll is stalking him, and that the doll maker is up to no good. When he recounts tales of the
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was like stepping back into my childhood and reading Goosebumps under my blanket with a flashlight.

The Doll Maker by Majanka Verstraete is the kind of book that has you getting very nervous for these boys that come across theses weird dolls. The depiction of them reminded me why I am VERY picky about dolls and had more stuffed animals than them.

A little bit twisted Pinocchio, a little bit Chucky for young kids (I hate to use that analogy but it's the only one aside from The Doll Hous
Sabina Bundgaard
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have read The Doll Maker for myself, but am currently reading it for my (almost) 7 year old son.

As an adult, this book wasn’t scary, but an amazingly good read. The plot was different, the building of the story, using the small boys POV to tell the story, the villain… everything was masterly done for me.

To my son? He loves it. This book holds many of the things he likes; it’s scary, there are BOYS in it, they have a
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-fire
When I started to read this book, geared for ages 6-10, I expected a cutesy supernatural/paranormal ghost story that would have no affect on me. Forget about age! Any story with creepy dolls that come alive is frightening! The story was very well written. It was an interesting story line that I think children will enjoy....even if they need to keep a night light on for a few days afterwards. I love that this book is the first in a series and ended in a way that makes you anticipate the release o ...more
Michael  Thal
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Many young readers may not know much about “Twilight Zone,” an anthology series hosted by Rod Serling that ran for five seasons from 1959-1964. Episodes included psychological horror and thrillers, fantasy and science fiction. Usually an episode ended with a macabre twist.

Author Majanka Verstraete undoubtedly was influenced by Serling’s TV show when she wrote The Doll Maker, a psychological thriller for pre-teens.

When Derek passes a new doll shop in town his sister Annie wants one of the dolls.
Reads A-Lot
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
For as long as he could remember, Derek always had a creepy feeling about The Dollmaker, a toy shop in the town of Weirdville. He was especially creeped out by the doll his bratty sister kept wanting. Such life-like features. Kinda reminds me of the Chuckie doll.

"What would the world be like without Annie or creepy dolls?"

Before he knew it, he was face-to-face with his little sister's new doll. The one whose plastic skin looked like flesh! No matter how many times he admonished himself that toy
Eustacia Tan
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-tour
When I was a kid, we had the Mr. Midnight books. Stories like The Demon Dentist, My Handphone is Haunted, etc all stared Singaporean kids (well, they had Singaporean names) and the familiar sounding names and environments made them scary. I was reminded of this series (minus the Singaporean aspect) when I read the Weirdville series - starting with The Doll Maker.

In The Doll Maker, Derek's sister gets a new, creepy doll. Derek can tell something's not right with the doll - or the doll shop, but n
Alicia Marietta
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Review from my 13 year old - The Doll Maker is a cleverly written horror story for kids ages 6-10 years old. However, it won't, or should I say shouldn't, give them nightmares. Yet, it is still creepy enough for older kids and even adults to enjoy.

When a doll shop suddenly appears in town, and no one can remember anyone moving into the store, strange things begin happening in the small town of Weirdville. One afternoon Annie, along with her mother and older brother Derek, stroll past the store.
Lynda Dickson
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 6-12
Shelves: children
Ten year old Derek, his mother, and his little sister Annie live in the town of Weirdville. One day they spot a new shop called The Doll Maker that seems to have sprung up overnight. Annie whines all day until her mother buys her the creepy and extremely life-like doll they saw in the window earlier that day. Why do all the kids have to have one of these dolls after they see them? Derek sets out with his best friends, Jamie and Martin, to investigate the doll shop, and they discover that somethi ...more
Penelope Bartotto
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Majanka Verstraete has mastered a great skill in crafting an adorable picture book for the Halloween season and a marvelous chapter book series to give the older kids a little chill.

Welcome to Weirdville with The Doll Maker, another excellent masterpiece from Verstraete. Venturing into the genre of chapter books, geared for the early reader from age 6-10, Majanka has swung a home run. When reading this with my nephew, age 8, the words were not too difficult for him to understand and the story,
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the first story in the Weirdville Series, it's a spooky story for youngsters. My 12 year old daughter is always asking for scary stories or movies and this was perfect for her. Not too scary but scary enough to keep her interested. We read this one together and we both really enjoyed it! We are looking forward to reading book 2 and would highly recommend this one to kids looking for a spooky story! ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Read this to see if was ok for a five year old. I enjoyed it very much but I think it was a little scary for her. Looking at getting some of the other titles to read and saving them till she gets a little older. Good character development.
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my book, so of course I'm biased. Lovely cover was created by the talented Noelle Giffin. ...more
Miriam Blum
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Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels.

Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series wit

Other books in the series

Weirdville (6 books)
  • House of Horrors (Weirdville, #2)
  • Fright Train (Weirdville, #3)
  • Drowning in Fear (Weirdville,  #4)
  • The Clumsy Magician (Weirdville,  #5)
  • Grave Error (Weirdville, #6)

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