Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dollmaker of Krakow” as Want to Read:
The Dollmaker of Krakow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Dollmaker of Krakow

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,865 ratings  ·  514 reviews
In the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.

Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked p
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Delacorte Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Dollmaker of Krakow, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Amelia G I think that the theme of the book would probably be friendship, as Karolina and the Dollmaker as well as others establish some very deep…moreI think that the theme of the book would probably be friendship, as Karolina and the Dollmaker as well as others establish some very deep relationships as they go through some really hard times. Since the book is also about the Holocaust, though, it does talk about some harsher themes like war, prejudice, and other austere themes. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kamila / Fishtalking
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,865 ratings  ·  514 reviews

Sort order
Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Actual rating 4.6⭐

Story ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Karolina is a doll that lived in the land of dolls, before waking up in krakow in the shop of a dollmaker. It’s 1940 and the nazis march into Poland and from there on Jews are being treated differently.
It’s a great story for everyone above 8-10 years, that shows them what it was like under the nazi regime. With the little magic in it, it makes the story so much more appealing.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐⭐
All of the characters are wonderful and I fell in love with them from the s
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
3 1/2 stars.

What a heartfelt historical fantasy novel.

Perfect for young readers reluctant of historical fiction, this beautiful and devastating story incorporates delightful magical elements.

Karolina is a doll who lives in the Land of the Dolls, until she wakes up in a doll maker’s shop. She is there because the doll maker needs her help to break out of his shell and connect to living people, not just dolls.

Meanwhile, World War II begins and shatters lives… getting closer and closer and darker
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Holocaust is a difficult subject to write about, let alone when your target audience are children, but R. M. Romero managed to pull it off in this novel. The fantasy elements can be an enticing entry point into an important and emotionally challenging topic. However, don't let the fact that it's a children's book keep you from reading it. "The Dollmaker of Krakow" is a beautifully written, profound, and poignant story that will leave its imprint on a reader of any age.

First of all, let me a
Maria Espadinha
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holocausto e Magia -- Quem Diria

Este livro é lindo:

- Demoramo-nos na capa, porque é bela

- Demora-nos nas páginas emolduradas em filigranas

- Demoramo-nos nas figuras que encabeçam cada capítulo

- Demoramo-nos na leitura, pelo simples culto do prazer...

A quem se destina?

- Aos amantes do belo e à juventude

É uma história mágica sobre o Holocausto, que resultou dum excelente projeto:
Sensibilizar a nova geração para que não aconteça de novo, pois o futuro a eles pertence!...

“Podemos escolher participar
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

Books are an affair of the heart, and this one hit the arrow straight into its target.

In two different worlds a war has broken out. One world is the Land of the Dolls, and the other being our world during WWII. Karolina is a doll, a seamstress in her kingdom, where dolls like her go after they have been abandoned by their human owners or are not wanted anymore.

“When their wood and cloth and porcelain could sustain their soul
Whispering Stories
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed by Nia on

This book is a strong contender for my favourite book of 2018, it’s going to take a lot to beat my enjoyment of this book!

If you do buy yourself a copy of this book (which you should), you should absolutely buy the hardback edition. Not only is the cover beautiful, the pages smell divine (if you’re into that kind of thing) and there are illustrated embellishments to the pages that you just don’t see these days that makes the book feel extra specia
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
When I went into this story, I knew it would be sad, given the contents, but I never thought that it would be so beautiful, or so haunting. I never could have expected it to nestle itself so deeply in my heart. This story devastated me in the best way, and I will cherish it forever.

“Magic is an odd thing,” he said. “It never takes the form you expect.”

All Karolina wants is to save the land of dolls from the evil rat invaders, but when she comes to life in our world, she’s surprised to learn th
R.M. Romero
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm very happy to be able to share this book with all of you this fall!
Maria Espadinha
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Weird Kind of Blend

Holocaust and Magic -- what a strange combination!

And you know what?!
It really works!

That's up to you to find out! ;)

The author's purpose was writing a book with a message "Never Again" enough apealing to kids.
Kids are about to be leaders and rulers. Like it or not, sooner than later they’ll be the architects of human society. So... “Never Again” — makes sense, doesn't it?!
Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews
The Dollmaker of Krakow is a beautiful story that parallels a country called The Land of Dolls with 1940’s Kraków, Poland. Karolina was living in the world where dolls come to rest after their doll bodies perish here on Earth. In that world, she was a seamstress who would sew wishes into each article of clothing that she made for her doll customers. At the start of the story she is not in that world for very long before she awakens to find herself in the home of the Dollmaker.

I thoroughly enjoye
Nov 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF'd at chapter 14.

I enjoyed the first few chapters, but the more I continued to read the less interest I had in the story and the characters.

I picked up this book because I thought it would be interesting and something I would enjoy reading. But I couldn't get into it.

I did not like the writing style.
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction

*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. This in no way affects my opinion.

A fairytale in a bleak world, The Dollmaker of Krakow is a whimsical story set with a tragic background.

Following Karolina, a living doll lost in the world of war-torn Poland, this middle-grade/children’s novel seems to me the perfect way to set a book during the war without it being *too* hard-hitting. Don’t get me wrong, the dark, bleak world is very m
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cudownie baśniowa, przeszywająca serce milionami utraconych głosów opowieść o piętnie wojny. Historia niewyobrażalnego cierpienia, wszechpotężnego zła, ale także prawdziwego dobra, które w chwilach największej ciemności było ostatnim ze świateł. "Lalkarz z Krakowa" poruszy młodszych i starszych czytelników, przypominając, że zawsze jest wybór, zawsze jest nadzieja. To lektura, w której dylematy bohaterów zrozumie każdy z nas, bo jedyny wybór jaki mamy, to albo być człowiekiem dla drugiego człowi ...more
Amy (my_bibliophilia)
****3.5 stars****

Me gustó mucho.
Pronto les contaré más.
Sandra Uv

Ha sido un libro con una historia muy bonita y dura. Una mezcla entre cuento y realidad.
Reseña completa:
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Мила и тъжна приказка, подходяща за деца между 10 и 13-14 години.
Специално искам да спомена чудесната корица, която предлага сетивно удоволствие дори на тактилно ниво.
José Alfredo
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Juguetes, niños, muñecas, magia y el horror nazi. ¿Qué podía fallar? Una bellísima historia durante la ocupación nazi de Polonia. La creatividad, el amor y su magia luchando contra la barbarie y el sinsentido del odio racial. Una obra de arte a la altura de 'El niño del pijama de rayas', un cuento dentro de la brutal realidad.

Cuando vi este libro y leí su sinopsis algo me dijo que iba a ser bueno; no me equivoqué ni un ápice. Sin duda no hay que perder a su autora de vista porque nos traerá gra
"You can destroy a person...but destroying their story is far more difficult. No one is ever really lost as long as their story still exists."

"This world was marching into the dark, and Karolina was being pulled along with it. And in the dark, she knew that she would know loss in whatever terrible form it took."


The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero is a story set during World War II in Krakow, Poland. When a lonely Dollmaker breathes life into a doll named Karolina, their lives are forever changed. The two form a fast friendship with a Jewish father and daughter, Jozef and Rena, and the happiness they share begins to eclipse th
Mel (Epic Reading)
Anytime you pick up a book that is set during WWII you must be prepared for a sad or at the very least a bittersweet ending; even when it's a middle-grade book.

The Setting & Characters
The Dollmaker of Krakow is set in German occupied Poland. As a survivor of WWI whose missing a leg, the Dollmaker is a quiet, downtrodden older man. To me he felt like the kind of old man that you just want to hug and listen to all day long. I adore him.
As this is a middle grade (ages 9-11) book it conveys th
Oliwia Potocka
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I usually don't enjoy books with Polish touch written by not-Polish authors, because most often they are based on stereotypes and harmful presuppositions about Poles and Poland itself (see Bone Gap). But I like reading such books just to complain about them (yup, I’m one of those). I learned about “The Dollmaker of Kraków” from one of Regan’s (PeruseProject) videos and it caught my attention, because 1. the author is definitely not from Poland, and 2. it is set in Kraków, where I live atm and it ...more
Nicole Beaudry
The Dollmaker of Krakow is a very, very special book. Set in Poland during World War II, it follows Karolina, a doll whose homeland has been invaded by evil rats. She is sent into the world of humans by a magic wind and finds herself in the home of a talented dollmaker, Cyryl, who is sad and lonely and has never really recovered from his experience during World War I. With her help, he becomes friends with a wonderful Jewish father, Jozef, and his little girl, Rena. As you can imagine, the book ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro es un poquito raro, no he conseguido conectar con la historia porque es una historia de fantasía ambientada en la segunda guerra mundial, algo que para mí no funciona.
Porque no es que sea una historia de fantasía donde los protagonistas desconectan de la realidad como pasaba en El laberinto del fauno o en La vida es bella, es algo que, dentro de la historia, pasa de verdad, porque es suficiente con creer en la magia.
Y oye... creer en la magia en medio de deportaciones de judíos y aniq
Joanne Freitas
Esperava muito mais até porque é um dos temas que mais gosto de ler. A história em si podia dar muito mais do que deu, na minha opinião, porque tinha tudo para ser uma daquelas histórias que marcam as pessoas. Acabei por achar que teve um pouco a mais de fantasia.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cafeteria-audrey
Definitivamente uno de mis favoritos este año! Siempre me ha interesado leer sobre el holocausto, pero ¡wow!, esta lectura ha sido especial. Juguetes, niños, muñecas, magia y el horror nazi. ¿Qué podía fallar? Una bellísima historia durante la ocupación nazi de Polonia. La creatividad, el amor y su magia luchando contra la barbarie y el sinsentido del odio racial. Una obra de arte a la altura de 'El niño del pijama de rayas', un cuento dentro de la brutal realidad. Los capítulos finales me apach ...more
Is it awful that I, a Jewish person, didn’t connect with this story? I liked it okay I guess? Don’t get me wrong, it was beautifully written and the each character had their own personality, but I just didn’t connect. I still liked the message it spread: it doesn’t matter if in the end you end up helping one person, it’s still one person more than no one.

Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
"The more people tell the story, the more alive it becomes."

The Dollmaker of Kraków by R.M. Romero is a poignant and meaningful tale about the horrors of WWII. I was really looking forward to reading this book and I absolutely loved it! It's an exquisite story, which I hope will be able to reach to many readers.

Karolina is a living doll, staying in the Land of the Dolls - a place where all toys are moved when their owners forget about them. Her country is under attack of evil rats and one day
Aug 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I really didn't know where to place this book - but not in a good way. I felt disconnected throughout the book, and will not be buying this for the library. The problem is that the author R.M. Romero seems not to know which audience she is actually writing the book for. One the one hand you have a dark story written about the second world war, set in Poland, which covers the treatment of the Jews by Hitler, ending up in the infamous camp of Auschwitz. This is dark and compelling, and would suit ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
“No one is ever really lost as long as their story still exists.”

This book was so beautiful! Definitely one of my favorites this year! I’m always interested in reading about the holocaust, but wow this one was special.

Karolina is a doll who lives in The Land of the Dolls, but one day her home is invaded by rats and she is forced to move on. A strange wind sends her to Krakow, Poland where she meets the Dollmaker who soon finds out he has a magical gift; he can bring toys to life.

Again, this wa
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dit was een heel, heel bijzonder boek dat me echt aangreep, mijn hart verwarmde maar me ook bijna liet huilen. Een verhaal over haat en pijn, maar vooral over hoop. ❤ ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Book of Storms (The Book of Storms Trilogy, #1)
  • A Diamond in the Desert
  • Wicked Nix
  • Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco
  • Better to Wish (Family Tree, #1)
  • Everything Else in the Universe
  • My Brigadista Year
  • Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem
  • The Black North
  • The Unicorn in the Barn
  • The Light Jar
  • Saga Sigrun (Północna Droga, #1)
  • Itty Bitty Hellboy
  • Tribute
  • Like a River: A Civil War Novel
  • The Wolf's Boy
  • Running on the Roof of the World
  • The Mad Wolf's Daughter (Mad Wolf's Daughter #1)
R. M. Romero the author of fairy tales and children's fiction. She lives with her witchy black cat in Miami Beach.
“No one is ever really lost as long as their story still exists.” 21 likes
“You can destroy a person, Karolina, but destroying their story is far more difficult. No one is ever really lost as long as their story still exists.” 15 likes
More quotes…