78 pages 2 hours read

Betty Ren Wright

The Dollhouse Murders

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1983

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The Dollhouse Murders

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade mystery
  • Originally Published: 1983
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 670L; grades 3-7
  • Structure/Length: 19 chapters; approx. 160 pages; approx. 3 hours, 52 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Twelve-year-old Amy Treloar gets in trouble at home and runs away to the house where her great-grandparents used to live, now occupied by her Aunt Clare. When she finds a dollhouse in the attic that is an exact replica of their house, strange things happen. The dolls move on their own and might be trying to communicate a secret. Can Amy solve the mystery of her great-grandparents’ murders?
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Cold murder case

Betty Ren Wright, Author

  • Bio: 1927-2013; American writer of children’s fiction; lived in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with her husband; also wrote short stories and over 30 picture books; children’s book editor with Western Publishing; loved reading from a young age; craved stories about ghosts who were ordinary people
  • Other Works: Getting Rid of Marjorie (1981); Christina’s Ghost (1985); The Ghost of Ernie P. (1990); Out of the Dark (1995); The Moonlight Man (2000)
  • Awards: Texas Bluebonnet Award (1986); Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Reader’s Choice Award (1986); Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award (1989)   

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Coming of Age Means Facing One’s Problems
  • Different Kinds of Abilities and Their Value
  • Guilt as a Growth Obstacle