The Doll People

by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin (2002)

Reading The Doll People is like looking through a kaleidoscope for the first time. Everything is represented unexpectedly – and colorfully!  The reader’s perspective is expanded outward while at the same time it is also focused inward. No matter what you think of ‘dolls,’ The Doll People is a truly original piece of literature.

Annabelle, the delightful doll protagonist, pines for adventure.  She’s belonged to the same eight-year-old, living in the same dollhouse, without changes or challenges, for one hundred years. But when she finds her missing Auntie Sarah’s journal, and a new, adventurous doll friend moves nearby and is added to the mix, her life becomes more and more animated.

The book reads as a historic mystery told in a narrative prose style. The Doll People melds the worlds of 1898, 1955, and 1998. The changes over those years are highlighted by subtle changes in the outside, human world during these doll lives.

In the fragile, old, 1898 doll house you will meet china-skinned dolls, aka “The Doll” family. In the new, all plastic Funcraft dollhouse you will meet the entirely plastic, pretty unbreakable, raucous doll family, “The Funcrafts.”  And when these two doll families team up to solve challenges, everyone learns to be more open-minded and brave.

The Doll People, at 256 pages, is a terrific four-week One School, One Book read. The doll society that the authors, Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, have created is magical, quirky, and fun. We’re proud to invite you to the The Doll People for your One School, One Book. It is sure to expand your students’ and families’ horizons.