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The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story

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From ghost story master Mary Downing Hahn, the haunting tale of a mysterious doll discovered in a young girl's garden, and its owner, a girl from seventy years in the past, who wants it back. A suspenseful story of unexpected connections between present and past. Ashley and her mother need their new apartment to work out, but everything Ashley does seems to upset the irrit From ghost story master Mary Downing Hahn, the haunting tale of a mysterious doll discovered in a young girl's garden, and its owner, a girl from seventy years in the past, who wants it back. A suspenseful story of unexpected connections between present and past. Ashley and her mother need their new apartment to work out, but everything Ashley does seems to upset the irritable and unforgiving landlady. When Ashley makes friends with the girl next door, Kristi, they uncover a wooden box containing a well-loved turn-of-the-century doll. Ashley wants to keep the doll for herself, but Kristi has other ideas. So does the doll's original owner, a girl who died decades ago, but whom Ashley meets when she follows a mysterious white cat through a hedge. Can Ashley bring peace to the girl and resolve her own present-day challenges? 


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From ghost story master Mary Downing Hahn, the haunting tale of a mysterious doll discovered in a young girl's garden, and its owner, a girl from seventy years in the past, who wants it back. A suspenseful story of unexpected connections between present and past. Ashley and her mother need their new apartment to work out, but everything Ashley does seems to upset the irrit From ghost story master Mary Downing Hahn, the haunting tale of a mysterious doll discovered in a young girl's garden, and its owner, a girl from seventy years in the past, who wants it back. A suspenseful story of unexpected connections between present and past. Ashley and her mother need their new apartment to work out, but everything Ashley does seems to upset the irritable and unforgiving landlady. When Ashley makes friends with the girl next door, Kristi, they uncover a wooden box containing a well-loved turn-of-the-century doll. Ashley wants to keep the doll for herself, but Kristi has other ideas. So does the doll's original owner, a girl who died decades ago, but whom Ashley meets when she follows a mysterious white cat through a hedge. Can Ashley bring peace to the girl and resolve her own present-day challenges? 

30 review for The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    ☠Kayla☠

    Wow! This book was absolutely wonderful! It was such a cute story about friendship and coming to terms with death. I loved it! Don't let the cover fool you, though it look's scary I wouldn't particularly say it is. Though for a very young child it might be a little unsettling as we learn very early on that the main character, Ashley, had lost her father to cancer. We also learn about a little girl around her age she and her new friend, Kristy, has met in the garden. But this little girl is very Wow! This book was absolutely wonderful! It was such a cute story about friendship and coming to terms with death. I loved it! Don't let the cover fool you, though it look's scary I wouldn't particularly say it is. Though for a very young child it might be a little unsettling as we learn very early on that the main character, Ashley, had lost her father to cancer. We also learn about a little girl around her age she and her new friend, Kristy, has met in the garden. But this little girl is very different from Ashley and Kristy, because she died seventy years ago. Even with the subject of death being a very strong topic in this book it was still a great read as all of Mary Downing Hahn book's I have read so far are. Such a beautiful story with a beautiful outcome. It also is quite short and a very easy read that flows through quite quickly. It could easily be finished in a sitting or two. For a ghost story, I'd say this is one of the most heart warming I have ever read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy Holland

    I love, love, love this book. I read it for the first time when I was in 3rd grade, and it scared the crap out of me. I read it again about 6 years ago, and had the urge to revisit it again this summer. It's genuinely spooky and beautifully written, and includes some great commentary on losing someone you love and the grieving process. This is one of my go-to books when a child wants a scary book to check out, and one that I will keep re-reading every few years. -- June 2019 re-read! The review I w I love, love, love this book. I read it for the first time when I was in 3rd grade, and it scared the crap out of me. I read it again about 6 years ago, and had the urge to revisit it again this summer. It's genuinely spooky and beautifully written, and includes some great commentary on losing someone you love and the grieving process. This is one of my go-to books when a child wants a scary book to check out, and one that I will keep re-reading every few years. -- June 2019 re-read! The review I wrote above was about a year before I got the idea for the book I'm currently (and please god almost done) writing. And something kinda spooky happened! With this re-read, I realized how much of this book is is ingrained in my subconscious. From turns of phrase ("cool green shadows") to character names ("Viola") to the basic premise of finding an abandoned place that harbors long-buried secrets -- there are lots of similarities that aren't at all intentional. I didn't start seriously writing the story down until late 2017, so it wasn't like I read the book, had it fresh in my mind, and then started working on my own story. About five years had elapsed, which makes me think that this book really sunk into a core part of my being when I read it for the first time as a third-grader. I love that books have that power -- to become integral parts of who we are. I'm glad that this book is part of my DNA. <3

  3. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Although I personally could definitely very much do without rather volatile and immature emotionally wise neighbour girl Kristi (as she remains annoyingly undeveloped character-wise and also rather seems to be tacked on as a somewhat too predictable plot device to infuse the plot with action and conflict to move it along), I have indeed still quite enjoyed Mary Downing Hahn's The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story, as it presents a creepily spooky but in my opinion also never actually all that fr Although I personally could definitely very much do without rather volatile and immature emotionally wise neighbour girl Kristi (as she remains annoyingly undeveloped character-wise and also rather seems to be tacked on as a somewhat too predictable plot device to infuse the plot with action and conflict to move it along), I have indeed still quite enjoyed Mary Downing Hahn's The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story, as it presents a creepily spooky but in my opinion also never actually all that frightening ghost infused Middle Grade tale, alongside of important messages regarding illness, friendship, forgiveness and death. And to and for me, with The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story, of primary necessity and importance is the all encompassing lesson that feeling anger and even resentment at a loved one or a friend who has died is indeed an often natural occurrence and even a manner of potentially coping, but that this nevertheless also needs to be discussed, that especially when like with the main protagonist's case, like with young Ashley, a parent has died, not discussing this, trying to somehow push the painful reality of this away from family conversations and such does nothing but cause emotions, sadness, anger and yes even guilt to fester and rankle internally, inside of one's heart and soul, a scenario that is then mirrored in The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story by what had occurred in the past between Cassie and Louisa. And how only by going back in time and into her own girlhood to when Louisa was dying, old and cantankerously bitter Miss Cooper is able find peace, can finally forgive herself and can find some real happiness (and to say her final goodbyes to Louisa, as well as return the absconded doll), an ending that is both sweet and satisfying, although I do have to admit that at first, I was a bit like Ashley rather upset that returning the lost/stolen doll to Louisa does not in fact make her strong enough to successfully fight against her tuberculosis, that she still ends up dying of consumption. But truthfully, I do realise that the ending of The Doll in the Garden is actually pretty well perfect as to the author's, as to what I consider Mary Downing Hahn's intentions have been (namely to show and present the importance of forgiveness, to demonstrate that while anger and resentment at a death are definitely natural feelings, they are also emotions that need to be discussed and dealt with in order for the departed to find peace and rest, for with what Ashely has experienced with Louisa Perkins and Cassie Cooper, she is then also able to use this to discuss her father's recent cancer death with her mother and to admit that she often has felt not only sadness at his passing but also actual anger towards him for dying, for leaving her alone and heartbroken). A fast, emotionally evocative, stirring and sweet read is The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story, and while for me, the issues with the inclusion of Kristi as a character (as a plot device of not much nuance and development character wise) do indeed make me only consider a three star maximum ranking for The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story, I will still highly recommend Mary Downing Hahn's narrative as a lovely and evocative little ghost (as well as time slip) tale, perfect for tween readers who might desire a bit of an eerie reading experience but one that is also and at the same time not too creepy (and furthermore deals with important life and philosophy of existence lessons and messages).

  4. 5 out of 5

    MLE

    I'm reading (and re-reading) ghost stories for the Halloween season. "The day we moved into Monkton Mills, I made an enemy of our new landlady." Reading this made me remember why I loved Mary Downing Hahn stories so much when I was younger. It's nice to find out that not everything I liked back then sucked. (Trust me that is not always the case.) This story was more than just a ghost story. It was a story about friendship, love, death, loss, and how to carry on when you lose someone important to y I'm reading (and re-reading) ghost stories for the Halloween season. "The day we moved into Monkton Mills, I made an enemy of our new landlady." Reading this made me remember why I loved Mary Downing Hahn stories so much when I was younger. It's nice to find out that not everything I liked back then sucked. (Trust me that is not always the case.) This story was more than just a ghost story. It was a story about friendship, love, death, loss, and how to carry on when you lose someone important to you. It's a story about pain, and redemption, and the power forgiveness with a nice helping of ghosts, and time travel what's not to like. I may or may not have cried when I read this especially during the talk Ashley has with her mother in the end.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rosaline (Rosaline's Rolls & Scrolls)

    This was a cute little ghost story about forgiveness and letting go. Having lost my grandma to cancer in an untimely manner, I was able to relate to Ashley and the guilt and anger she felt after her father's death. I never thought she would actually die, and how the author portraits these feelings in "The Doll in the Garden" is truly wonderful. This story is about how childhood relationships and feelings of guilt and grief that were not dealt with can turn someone into a bitter and angry person. This was a cute little ghost story about forgiveness and letting go. Having lost my grandma to cancer in an untimely manner, I was able to relate to Ashley and the guilt and anger she felt after her father's death. I never thought she would actually die, and how the author portraits these feelings in "The Doll in the Garden" is truly wonderful. This story is about how childhood relationships and feelings of guilt and grief that were not dealt with can turn someone into a bitter and angry person. And how getting stuck in the past and not moving on can ruin an entire life. I loved this short story. I loved the childhood innocence in its pages. I wish all children could be spared from loss and sadness, but that's part of life and there's no way to stop it. I recommend this book to anyone liking their ghost stories a little sweeter and their books a bit shorter.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Obviously I make these ratings based on how I felt about the book at the time that I read it. So, the 4 out of 5 stars is the rating that the 11 year old me would have given it. I remember loving this book, and I remember checking it out from the school library more than once, which is something I don't now or didn't then do very often. The only part of it I remember is the beginning when she and her mom ate pizza on the front porch. But it has stuck with me long enough so I had to add it to my Obviously I make these ratings based on how I felt about the book at the time that I read it. So, the 4 out of 5 stars is the rating that the 11 year old me would have given it. I remember loving this book, and I remember checking it out from the school library more than once, which is something I don't now or didn't then do very often. The only part of it I remember is the beginning when she and her mom ate pizza on the front porch. But it has stuck with me long enough so I had to add it to my books. I think any young girl would like it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    C.

    I owned “Time For Andrew”, 1994 a few years before discovering it is a masterpiece. I unhesitatingly pick up anything Mary Downing Hahn publishes and spotted “The Doll In The Garden”, 1989. Mary leans towards time travel rather than hauntings. I savour the way she plunges into otherworldliness nonetheless. I count on her to tread there and didn’t let this novel sit on my dresser longer than one day! Delegation of stars is a smidgen lower because this was a simplified portrayal of textbook scena I owned “Time For Andrew”, 1994 a few years before discovering it is a masterpiece. I unhesitatingly pick up anything Mary Downing Hahn publishes and spotted “The Doll In The Garden”, 1989. Mary leans towards time travel rather than hauntings. I savour the way she plunges into otherworldliness nonetheless. I count on her to tread there and didn’t let this novel sit on my dresser longer than one day! Delegation of stars is a smidgen lower because this was a simplified portrayal of textbook scenarios. A girl moves with her cat, Oscar and widowed Mother. Rather typically, they struggle financially and their landlady is a crank. She forbids a disused garden, the source of interest immediately presenting itself to the transplanted child. A younger, annoying neighbour girl causes difficulty but they try to be companions. If I hadn’t been dazzled by the multitudinous threads and creativity Mary achieved with “Time For Andrew” in few pages, I might not feel she breezes through common issues in this one. This was composed earlier, so we could say she was warming up to the journey of her later release. This story is still wonderfully inventive. The girls find a doll in the off-limits garden. A cat rumoured to be a ghost, has been sighted every July. Our brave protagonist, Ashley follows it to the next yard, which has been empty of any structure for decades. These are the enchanting chapters. They meet the doll’s owner, discover the circumstances under which she would like it to be given back, and we learn why their landlady has been a crank. The conclusion is very satisfying, because the threads aren’t settled in the manner books often handle them. Most especially, we learn the important role the landlady has had in all this for about seventy years.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    I found this while looking around on my library's digital download site, and I realized that I had read this book before when I was a kid, then almost completely forgot about it. I decided to read it again to refresh my memory of how it ended. Miss Cooper has to be one of the most crotchety elderly ladies I've ever come across in fiction. One wonders why she would even rent out her upstairs apartment to a single-mother with a child, especially when there is a girl next door who might come over to I found this while looking around on my library's digital download site, and I realized that I had read this book before when I was a kid, then almost completely forgot about it. I decided to read it again to refresh my memory of how it ended. Miss Cooper has to be one of the most crotchety elderly ladies I've ever come across in fiction. One wonders why she would even rent out her upstairs apartment to a single-mother with a child, especially when there is a girl next door who might come over to play if children move in. I guess she needed the rent that badly. She certain doesn't mind the idea of calling the realtor and throwing her lodgers out if Ashley, the main character, keeps wandering into the overgrown garden in her backyard, even though Ashley wishes to fix it up for a place to play. Also, following the white cat that keeps showing up at night and calling outside her window is a big temptation. The girls eventually dig up a box in the backyard with an old doll in it, and the cat draws Ashley through the hedge into a world of the past shaded in twilight even when it is broad daylight in the real world. Here she meets the former owner of the doll, now a ghost. This twilight world leaves me with a lot of questions. Time is clearly progressing inside of this capsule world, and Louisa, the ghost girl, is clearly dying of consumption and they need to get the doll back to her before she dies. However, Miss Cooper mentions later that she had been hearing the haunted crying and seeing the ghost cat for many years now. So, does the world trapped in the past progress in time then reset itself? Has the time in this frozen world finally started to move forward because the girls visited, and would it have remained static if they never came? The book never explains this, nor does it really need to for the resolution to be fulfilling. I just tend to over-think these things. So did this book live up to my experience with it nearly 20 years ago? Actually, I'd say yes, although the focus of my enjoyment is different than it was when I was young. I don't find the book nearly as creepy or suspenseful as I did as a child, but now that I'm older, I'm better able to appreciate the exploration this book makes of feelings of guilt or resentment that can come when someone close to you passes away with things left unsaid or done. The prose is solid, and the description enhances a sense of atmosphere without being too wordy. The characters have the level of simplicity you would expect from a Middle Grade level book, but they are still believable and act like someone of their age and personal experience. My only complaint would be with the digital conversion of the ebook. The version I checked out from Overdrive is full of OCR conversion typos that were never proofread by the publisher. There are lots of reoccurring errors like "eves" for "eyes", "Up" for "lip", and garbled punctuation. And this isn't the first ebook I've borrowed recently that had these typos. I really wish that publishers would check their scans before putting these things out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mehsi

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Mary Downing Hahn's books are hit and miss for me. Some of them are good, and some are just horrible. This one was a hit. I loved the story, or should I say stories, which in the end weave together. I didn't like Mrs. Cooper in the beginning, she was mean, grumpy and I really didn't understand why should would rent her top floor to a mother and child, when she hates children. I also disliked how she complained about everything the kids did. Instead of just I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Mary Downing Hahn's books are hit and miss for me. Some of them are good, and some are just horrible. This one was a hit. I loved the story, or should I say stories, which in the end weave together. I didn't like Mrs. Cooper in the beginning, she was mean, grumpy and I really didn't understand why should would rent her top floor to a mother and child, when she hates children. I also disliked how she complained about everything the kids did. Instead of just talking to them normally, explaining things, she shouted and threatened with evicting the mother and kid. The book wasn't that creepy, it was a bit spooky, but no big scares happen. I liked the (view spoiler)[travel under a hedge, guided by a ghost cat to another time/world (hide spoiler)] . Overall, a good book, and I would recommend it to everyone. :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Lately I've been starting to read this author. Turns out that The Doll in the Garden fits one of my favorite themes, that of Inter-generational Friendship, perfectly. It's a ghost story, ok... or it could easily be redefined as a time travel story... but the deeper themes are all about being never too old (or too young) to learn how let go of regrets re' the loss of a loved one. Very quick read, well-done, universal and timeless. Lately I've been starting to read this author. Turns out that The Doll in the Garden fits one of my favorite themes, that of Inter-generational Friendship, perfectly. It's a ghost story, ok... or it could easily be redefined as a time travel story... but the deeper themes are all about being never too old (or too young) to learn how let go of regrets re' the loss of a loved one. Very quick read, well-done, universal and timeless.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Selena Gayles

    I think The Doll In The Garden is a rilly good book.It's about a little girl named ashley, and she and her friend go in miss.cooper's garden and digs in it.And as there digging they see this white cat just standding there looking at them.And ashley calls the cat and he comes to her and likes her.So they go back to digging and they found a box but ashley and her friend are a little scard to open it but ashley stilled, and in side of it was a old pritty doll.Ashley and her friend wants to ceep it I think The Doll In The Garden is a rilly good book.It's about a little girl named ashley, and she and her friend go in miss.cooper's garden and digs in it.And as there digging they see this white cat just standding there looking at them.And ashley calls the cat and he comes to her and likes her.So they go back to digging and they found a box but ashley and her friend are a little scard to open it but ashley stilled, and in side of it was a old pritty doll.Ashley and her friend wants to ceep it but thinks they should ceep it in the garden, in it's box.And latter that night there was going to be a storm and ashle was scard for the doll and so she when to go get it and decides to ceep it in her room with out telling her friend.And latter that night she see's the white cat again and she fallows him and she found out that the cats name is snowball and so she fallows snowball and she's in like this other world and like it rilly old and creepy.There's this little girl who is sitting down on a bench and looks u and see ashley and said hello.She seemed very friendly.So thay tald for a little and the little girl had to go.And the snowball took her back to her house.The nex day ash's friend whent to go check on the doll and see's that it is not there and goes to tell ash but latter on after talking to asg she finds out that ashley had it the hole time, and gets mad and latter that day she tell's miss.cooper and she's all mad and tells her to give her whats her's and ash is like but its not ur's.And her mom made her give it back to her and was not happy about it.Latter that day she goes up to her friend and said do u reallise what you have done.And she explanes to her friend what she all that night and latter that night she took her to go see the gost and she was so made the nex day that she told miss.cooper and they did every thing they can to get the doll back to the little girl, because that was the little girls doll that her dad gave to her befor he died.So they had a nice long tolk with miss.cooper and miss.cooper decides to give it back to that little girl only because that was her bff when she was little but saddly she died in a fire.And the little girl was happy, and went to heven peacely.And the nex night ashley had a dream that she was playing in the garden with her doll anna.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Reread 2018: It's clear why the book is so memorable and is considered a classic amongst people of a certain age: it's well-written, centers around a living ghost story, and stars a protagonist who is new to the neighborhood and is feeling alienated and out-of-sorts since her dad died. The story is incredibly imaginative. I'd love to know how Mary Hahn came up with the concept of a doll shared between two girls at two different times, and which caused a lifelong bitterness in Carrie (Miss Cooper Reread 2018: It's clear why the book is so memorable and is considered a classic amongst people of a certain age: it's well-written, centers around a living ghost story, and stars a protagonist who is new to the neighborhood and is feeling alienated and out-of-sorts since her dad died. The story is incredibly imaginative. I'd love to know how Mary Hahn came up with the concept of a doll shared between two girls at two different times, and which caused a lifelong bitterness in Carrie (Miss Cooper). Reading it as an adult, it's a subtle reminder of what we all know so well: that the things which occur in childhood have a lasting impact on our lives and form and shape the very people we become, our fears, our vulnerabilities, our likes and dislikes - including the stories we read and the characters with whom we grow up. While the story didn't knock my socks off (I more appreciated rather than enjoyed it), my memories of the book from childhood were instantaneous. And seeing the cover, with Anna Maria and Snowball, I was knocked back 20-something years. I love that feeling. * * * Cannot believe I found this in a used book store in Tel Aviv! What a rush of memories. I had completely forgotten about this book, but just catching a glimpse at the title, the story came crashing back to me. I can't wait to reread this one. (And I'm pleasantly surprised at how many reviews it has on GR; I thought it was obscure!)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brendaaa;

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. i read this book,and i really enjoyed it. It was about a girl about Ashley,her and her mom moved too another town because her dad died,he had cancer and they wanted too away because they had so many memories of him. so they move away to another town. they move and they lived upstairs in a house that an old lady lived there she had a really mean looking dog. she was really mean and didnt like ashley's cat. she started going to a garden behind the house. and she meet snowball a ghost cat and from t i read this book,and i really enjoyed it. It was about a girl about Ashley,her and her mom moved too another town because her dad died,he had cancer and they wanted too away because they had so many memories of him. so they move away to another town. they move and they lived upstairs in a house that an old lady lived there she had a really mean looking dog. she was really mean and didnt like ashley's cat. she started going to a garden behind the house. and she meet snowball a ghost cat and from there she meet a girl name louis that was dieing. she wanted her doll back before she died but carrie had it. which carrie was the mean old lady that lived downstair from where ashley lived. and she also meet a younger girl name kristi she was her neigbor. when ashely had the doll,kristi went and told the old lady. the old lady took it way from her. but then ashley told her mom about the hole thing that was happening,and she talked too carrie which was the old lady. and she decided to give it back to louis and they took her the doll and louis was gone,resting in peace happy with her doll. i really enjoyed this book it was very interesting and cool :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I got this book about 14 years ago and I finally read it! I think as a child I would've had a love hate relationship with this book. I loved ghost stories and mysteries, and this book fulfills that part well, but the ending I think would've left me depressed. It gives children a more realistic approach to death of a loved one. One of the beloved characters dies (expectedly) but there's no magic that turns back the clock to cure her. I think it might do well for those children who have faced deat I got this book about 14 years ago and I finally read it! I think as a child I would've had a love hate relationship with this book. I loved ghost stories and mysteries, and this book fulfills that part well, but the ending I think would've left me depressed. It gives children a more realistic approach to death of a loved one. One of the beloved characters dies (expectedly) but there's no magic that turns back the clock to cure her. I think it might do well for those children who have faced death of a loved one and help them to understand that those around them are going through the same steps of grieving as they are, and that those who have passed on, are no longer in pain and are happy where they are and they want us to move on with our lives and be happy as well.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Monique S. (The Ginger Librarian)

    3.5 stars - "The Doll in the Garden" is a lightly spooky book for children, and I enjoyed reading it. 3.5 stars - "The Doll in the Garden" is a lightly spooky book for children, and I enjoyed reading it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    Purchased at the local library sale table for .10, this was a quick, nothing of substance read. Attempting to read my huge stash of books before purchasing more, I happened to grab this off the shelf. When Ashlee and her mother move to the upstairs apartment of a bitter, nasty elderly woman, Ashlee roams the back yard gardens while her mother types away, preparing to finish her education in order to support the family. Finding a play mate, together they discover a Victorian doll buried in the wood Purchased at the local library sale table for .10, this was a quick, nothing of substance read. Attempting to read my huge stash of books before purchasing more, I happened to grab this off the shelf. When Ashlee and her mother move to the upstairs apartment of a bitter, nasty elderly woman, Ashlee roams the back yard gardens while her mother types away, preparing to finish her education in order to support the family. Finding a play mate, together they discover a Victorian doll buried in the woods. As both children hear cries of a young girl during the night, Ashlee travels deep into the woods to discover a very ill girl who lived and died a long, long time ago. Through a series of visits, Ashlee and her friend learn that the doll was taken by her friend and she would like to reclaim it. The girls put the pieces together to learn that the bitter landlady was the long-ago friend who took the doll. This is a story of grief and redemption. As Ashlee allows the tears to flow for her father who died of cancer, the landlady visits the woods, goes back in time and not only returns the doll, but has the opportunity to say goodbye to her friend who died of consumption. Again, nothing earth shattering, but I can claim that one more book is off the tbr pile, and will be given away to the library where I purchased it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    I've decided to rate The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn as I would have rated it when I first read it. It's a good ghost story for young girls. Ashley has just moved to a small town with her widowed mother (different take on that now that I'm older and have lost my father as well). They've moved into the second floor apartment of old Miss Cooper's house. The first night, Ashley sees a white cat out in the garden. This cat eventually leads Ashley through a hole in the hedge and into anoth I've decided to rate The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn as I would have rated it when I first read it. It's a good ghost story for young girls. Ashley has just moved to a small town with her widowed mother (different take on that now that I'm older and have lost my father as well). They've moved into the second floor apartment of old Miss Cooper's house. The first night, Ashley sees a white cat out in the garden. This cat eventually leads Ashley through a hole in the hedge and into another world/time. There she meets Louisa, a young girl who is looking for her doll. Her doll that her friend Carrie took so many, many years ago. The doll Carrie buried in the overgrown garden at the back of Miss Cooper's yard, the doll the Ashley and her new friend, Kristi, found. Little by little, the girls figure out that Miss Cooper really is Carrie, and eventually, the old woman goes back through the hedge with the girls to give back the doll she stole away so many years ago (before Louisa died of consumption). It's a sweet story, I'd definitely recommend it for young girls.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mivembre

    I was never a huge fan of Mary Downing Hahn as a child-- most of her books didn't appeal to me (I like fantasy). But this one is phenomenal. I don't remember much, but I loved her interesting take on ghosts: that they are imprints of the past formed by strong emotions. As I recall, one character was the ghost of an old lady who was still alive. A good ghost story, and of course, as it is by Hahn, an excellent read for young people. I was never a huge fan of Mary Downing Hahn as a child-- most of her books didn't appeal to me (I like fantasy). But this one is phenomenal. I don't remember much, but I loved her interesting take on ghosts: that they are imprints of the past formed by strong emotions. As I recall, one character was the ghost of an old lady who was still alive. A good ghost story, and of course, as it is by Hahn, an excellent read for young people.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    You know, when you read a Hahn book, you will read about loss and redemption and second chances, and giving each other a chance. You will read about staying open to possibilities and forgiveness. This book has all that and more. Can the doll in the garden find its way home? Can an old woman forgive herself and begin to live again? Can a little girl come to terms with the losses in her life?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

    this book is a perfect example of don't judge a book by it's cover. i found the book and instantly said oh Chucky is a doll so this must be creepy or about a killer doll. but by the last few chapters i could not stop crying. the book is so mentally depressing that i almost had to put the book down, which for me is very bad. i would not tell others that this book is good for the soul because its very sad. but it is excellently written and that is why i love it. this book is a perfect example of don't judge a book by it's cover. i found the book and instantly said oh Chucky is a doll so this must be creepy or about a killer doll. but by the last few chapters i could not stop crying. the book is so mentally depressing that i almost had to put the book down, which for me is very bad. i would not tell others that this book is good for the soul because its very sad. but it is excellently written and that is why i love it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Invisible reader

    This book is just as beautiful as I remember, it really captures your attention and makes you love the characters.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jaymie

    You know this is a ghost story, it said it right on the cover of the edition I read. It isn't overly scary. It is an enjoyable, quick read. You know this is a ghost story, it said it right on the cover of the edition I read. It isn't overly scary. It is an enjoyable, quick read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Irina

    This is a beautiful children's book.! It is about ghosts, past mistakes, remorse and forgiveness with strong well defined characters. It's is tale of a ghost cat and a 9yr. old girl who died in 1912 and the new tenant's of this old crabby lady who owns the house and the garden where the little girl is heard crying at night. Why is the little girl crying, why does the cat come out at night to the old lady's yard? It's not until almost 11yr. old Ashley and her Mom move to the upstairs floor of the This is a beautiful children's book.! It is about ghosts, past mistakes, remorse and forgiveness with strong well defined characters. It's is tale of a ghost cat and a 9yr. old girl who died in 1912 and the new tenant's of this old crabby lady who owns the house and the garden where the little girl is heard crying at night. Why is the little girl crying, why does the cat come out at night to the old lady's yard? It's not until almost 11yr. old Ashley and her Mom move to the upstairs floor of the old lady's house when Ashley and her 7yr. old new neighbor Kristy start playing in the back garden and discover a buried box with a porcelain doll inside it. Whom did this doll belong to? and who wrote the note buried inside with It? I loved the way the cat was the messenger and the gateway through both worlds and how the author of the note honored a 72yr. old broken promise and mistake. I cried, the loss and grief everybody is trying to overcome is a bit strong but well handled. My son read this book before I did and I could tell he was into the story when he summed it up for me. Well done!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Ms. Cooper is an old crotchety woman haunted by a regret revolving around a doll, a ghost cat, and a very sick girl. Ashley is grieving for her father who died, and she finds a doll in the garden thus beginning a story about healing grief and righting a wrong.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    This book scared the crap out of me when I was around age 8 or so...Mary Downing Hahn is like a precursor for R.L. Stine books (only I remember thinking her writing was better even as a kid). If your kids like scary stories, look into this one, or Wait Til Helen Comes, which is even spookier.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    I thought that this book makes you sad,mad,exited, and wondrous. It made me cry it was so sad. But it is my favorite book!!!!!!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!!!! They need to add like a thousand more stars because this book is DA BOMBDIGGITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    This ghost story freaked me out REALLY BADLY as a child.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    It was a very amazing book, but at some parts, I almost cried. I read it in one day! I just couldn't put it down! I kept on wondering, "What will happen? I gotta know!" It was a very amazing book, but at some parts, I almost cried. I read it in one day! I just couldn't put it down! I kept on wondering, "What will happen? I gotta know!"

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emilia

    This is more of a fantasy book than a ghost story. Also the plot is very obvious if you have read Downing's novels before. This is more of a fantasy book than a ghost story. Also the plot is very obvious if you have read Downing's novels before.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I was in the mood for some YA horror and saw this available on overdrive. It took maaaaybe an hour, hour & a half to finish and am a little ashamed to say it's my first time reading any of Hahn's work! I'm positive I would have loved her stuff growing up! I was in the mood for some YA horror and saw this available on overdrive. It took maaaaybe an hour, hour & a half to finish and am a little ashamed to say it's my first time reading any of Hahn's work! I'm positive I would have loved her stuff growing up!

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