Ghost Doll (book cover)

Ghost Doll

Hardcover: Out of Print
Softcover: Available

Bruce's Seventh Book
Hardcover 1983 - Houghton Mifflin
ISBN 0-395-33073-4
Softcover 1997 - Apple Island Books
ISBN 0-934313-01-6

Available from
Apple Island Books
Awards and Honors Trivia Question
Personal Note

"The story is beautifully told
in eerie photographs and brief text...
A well-conceived, scary story for the young."

Childhood Education, March/April 1984

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Awards and Honors

The Helen Lemme School
presents the

to Bruce McMillan for
Ghost Doll

in 1984
Helen Lemme School
Iowa City, Iowa

Helen Lemme School

The Willow Woods
students present the

to Bruce McMillan for
Ghost Doll

on April 15, 1991
in Sterling Heights, Michigan

Willow Woods
Elementary School
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Personal Note

You can stay at the bed and breakfast inn
where Ghost Doll was photographed.
Captain Lord Mansion
is located in Kennebunkport, Maine.

About the Mansion
In the summer of 1814 Nathaniel Lord, merchant and shipbuilder, used the profits from a shipment of salt to build the mansion. In the winter of 1815 Nathaniel became ill and died in his new home. However, for the next 150 years the Mansion was passed on to his heirs. His grandson, Charles Clark, President of the New York and New Haven Railroad, made major renovations in the late 1800s. In 1973 the Mansion was listed in the National Register of Historic places. Since 1978 it has been operated as a coastal inn.

Who lives here? Read on...

As a child I went to cub scouts in Bangor, Maine only a couple of doors up the street from this house. When I first went to the University of Maine in Orono I lived on the second floor of Gannett Hall. I went to college to study biology. The first week of school I chatted with the freshman in the room across from me. He told me that he was going to major in English and journalism and that he'd written some stories. We went our separate ways, but we both became published authors.

He lives in this house today. The trivia question? Who is he? Click for answer.

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Only a very brave little girl could do what Chrissy does. Unafraid, she enters the house on the hill when she hears a faint call from within. It's the voice of a lonely, abandoned doll - a ghost doll. An eerie adventure awaits her in this haunted house. And though she thinks of running out more than once, she doesn't. Instead, courageous Chrissy reaches out to the lonely ghost doll. And at the end of the story she finds a happy surprise - as will every young reader.

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September 15, 1985

"Effective in creating a sense of eeriness... this will spark some shivers thanks to its realistic look. An interesting departure from the usual... (but) with a happy ending."

Kirkus Reviews
September 1, 1983

"a revival of the photographic fictions of fifty and more years ago."

McMillan, Bruce
Photos by the author
Houghton Mifflin
9/26 LC 83-8386
ISBN: 395-33073-5

Like The Remarkable Riderless Runaway Tricycle (1978), this is a revival of the photographic fictions of fifty and more years ago - with photo-trickery conjuring up a “ghost doll” for plucky little Chrissy to find in the “haunted” house on the hill. The floating doll beckons her through imposing, near empty rooms and up the (dramatic, darkening) circular staircase to the top of the house, meanwhile telling its doleful, antique tale of abandonment and loneliness. “I could be a doll again - your doll, if you really want me.” But Chrissy must demonstrate her bravery by reaching out and touching the doll. Then the doll floats into a box and fades, the lid flies on, the box wafts itself out onto the grass, and Chrissy opens it to find - a real doll, “a doll that would never be left alone again…”

This copyrighted © review originally appeared in Kirkus Reviews and appears here with permission.

School Library Journal
January 1984

"The special camera effects are artful."

McMillan, Bruce.
Ghost Doll.
photogs by author. 31p. CIP Houghton. Sept. 1983.
PLB $8.70. ISBN 0-395-33073-4. LC 83-8386.

K-Gr 3 - Like Dare Wright's classic, The Lonely Doll (Doubleday 1957), Ghost Doll is a photo essay in black and white. The difference lies in the sweetness level. This is about Chrissy, who is lured into the upper reaches of a desolate mansion by an eerie floating plastic doll which becomes hers once she demonstrates bravery. The picture book format appears suitable for very young preschoolers, but parents would be hard pressed to explain the content to that audience. Why is this solitary young girl allowed to explore a vacant house? Do children that age really need the concept of ghosts presented as flying underpants-clad dollies? As with his Remarkable Riderless Runaway Tricycle (Houghton, 1978) McMillan deserves credit for originality and execution of theme. The young actress displays generally credible expressions and the special camera effects are artful. It is unfortunate that the text is aimed at children too young for the story. - Leslie Chamberlain, Napa City-County Library, Calif.

This copyrighted © review originally appeared in School Library Journal and appears here with permission.

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The person who lives in the ghostly Bangor, Maine house is no other than Stephen King, though it wasn't as ghostly with all the wrought iron bats when I bicycled by on my way to cub scouts.

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