What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. YA novel early to mid 90s, scarecrows (?) that come to life? [s]

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message 1: by Cora (last edited Aug 09, 2015 03:06PM) (new)

Cora  | 9 comments It's been driving me crazy that I can't remember this book that I loved in middle school, from 1993-1996. It's always linked in my mind with The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn, because I think they came out around the same time and they had the same creepy vibe. They were both very popular at the school library.

From what I remember, a young girl was trying to solve a mystery involving these scarecrow-like things that were made and designed by... her aunt? A neighbor? Some older woman, at least. She thought they came to life at night, it was basically a children's horror novel. She was working with some other kids, possibly her brother and a neighbor boy.

I know this book was pretty popular at the time, at least in my school, so I'm surprised I haven't been able to find anything about it. Surely some other 90s kid must remember it?

Editing to add that it may possibly have been written earlier, in the 80s or even 70s, and just re-issued in the 90s.


message 3: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments That sounds similar to The Vanishing Scarecrow by Phyllis A. Whitney.


message 4: by Cora (new)

Cora  | 9 comments I don't think it was either one of those, but I do actually think I remember reading those too... it's crazy how just seeing the cover can bring it all back. Thanks, though.

The one I'm thinking of wasn't part of a series, and for some reason I'm thinking it was considered a somewhat "high quality" book for kids? Like, the binding was the nice, shiny binding that they used on the Newberry books and the ones they pushed us to check out.

And there were lots of the scarecrow thingies, the aunt (or someone) was an artist or something, and I think maybe she created them and sold them? Or maybe that was only revealed at the end? Ugh, I wish I could remember more.


message 5: by Cupcakedoll (new)

Cupcakedoll | 283 comments I feel like I've read a similar book, the aunt/grandmother made creepy dolls and stood them in her yard and it turns out she has them wired for sound so they're not really supernatural. But the people in the town are creeped out by them.

My memory is that this book-- which may or may not be the one you're thinking of-- has a sort of dusty-pink cover with a picture of the creepy doll faces and the title is something super-generic like "The Children" because the older woman calls the dolls her children. I did a little searching but no luck.


message 6: by Cora (last edited Aug 10, 2015 04:44PM) (new)

Cora  | 9 comments Cupcakedoll wrote: "I feel like I've read a similar book, the aunt/grandmother made creepy dolls and stood them in her yard and it turns out she has them wired for sound so they're not really supernatural. But the pe..."

Okay, I think I found it, spurred by your memory! The title is indeed close to that, it's The Ghost Children, by Eve Bunting.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...

I'm pretty sure that's the same one I'm thinking of as well. Thanks for helping solve the mystery!


message 7: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37753 comments Mod
Do you want to wait until you've gotten hold of a copy before we move this to Solved?


message 8: by Cora (new)

Cora  | 9 comments No, that's okay, I'd say it's definitely solved. I can't imagine there's another book with such a similar plot.


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