Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Mini Review:
The Ghost Children by Eve Bunting

Title: The Ghost Children
Author: Eve Bunting
Format: Paperback, 163 pages
Pub. Date: September 1st 1991
Source: Garage Sale

Book Description:

When Matt and Abby go to live with Great-Aunt Gerda in Sierra Madre Canyon after their mother dies, Matt is put off at first by the life-size wooden dolls whom Aunt Gerda talks to and calls her “children.” However, when someone vandalizes the dolls and two are stolen, it is Matt, with the help of his new friend, Kristin, who foils the would-be thief and returns the dolls to Aunt Gerda.



I first read this book as a kid, and I remember being particularly creeped out by it. I felt similarly towards a lot of books about dolls and dummies (like The Dollhouse Murders and Night of the Living Dummy, for example). I came across my old copy on one of my bookshelves and decided to give it another go as an adult, to see if it holds up.

And, it doesn't. Not quite. The intrigue and inherent spookiness is still there, but it's not nearly as scary as I remember. It lingers in a sort of mysterious tone, as opposed to horror or thriller. Obviously, this book is for children, so it did its job for its intended audience, and I've just grown up.

The tone is what really sells this book. It's all a bit spooky and ominous, although it is extremely predictable in some parts. And in other parts, there's big plot holes that don't ever really get filled in.

Still, it has that enjoyable 1990's nostalgia to it, in the same way that RL Stine's Goosebumps series does. But, I find those enjoyable to reread. As for The Ghost Children, I have fond memories, but it's time to say goodbye from my shelf.

If you enjoyed the Goosebumps book or if you have a kid who likes spooky stories, this is a good one to check out. But if you're an adult, it won't hold that same creepiness for you.


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