In 1898, a very special dollhouse (complete with a china doll family) arrived from England for a little girl. Annabelle, one of the dolls, has now been an 8-year-old for over 100 years and it’s getting boring. She sees the human girls grow up and new girls come to play with her, but she remains the same.
One night while looking at “books”, which are really just blocks of wood with titles painted on them, she discovers the real diary of her long-lost aunt. No one knows about the diary and she wants to keep it secret. She decides to solve the mystery of how her aunt disappeared by leaving the dollhouse. When she asks if anyone in her family has ever looked for her aunt outside of the dollhouse, they all answer “NO!” A doll risks Doll State, an inability to move for 24 hours, if it is seen moving about on its own. And if a doll is seen doing something very extraordinary it can end up in Permanent Doll State, which lasts forever. Read more about Staff Picks: The Doll People
I love Ada! Ada and this character-driven historical fiction won many awards, including the Newbery Honor book. She and her younger brother Jamie are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II. Away from the bombings and their abusive mother, they find the rural setting and their new caregiver both frightening and joyful.
Never have I been so glad for a sequel! Ada grew so much in the first novel, but in the sequel she really demonstrates her strength against the formidable Lady Thorton, runaway horses, and a war that now reaches the countryside and those she has come to love.