The Doll in the Garden.  Mary Downing Hahn

PUBLISHER, 1989; Awarded 1992.

Synopsis:  After ten-year-old Ashley's father dies, she and her mother move to a new apartment owned by unreasonable Miss Cooper.  With the help of a ghost cat and a buried antique doll found in the unkempt rose garden, Ashley and her new friend Kristi travel back in time.  They discover Louisa, who is dying, Miss Cooper's long kept secret, and a way for Ashley to overcome her own grief.

Themes:  Friendship, Grief, Time travel, Ghosts, Forgiveness


Discussion questions:
1. Explain why Miss Cooper feels guilty?  Do you think her guilt is a cause for her grumpy personality?  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
2. Explain how Ashley overcomes her own feelings of guilt about her father.  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
3. List the clues that most helped you unravel the mystery.  Standard 3, Benchmark 1

1. On a cat shaped note card, write a letter to someone.  Express your gratitude for your relationship or suggest a change in the relationship.  Standard 3, Benchmark 2
2. Describe a toy that has brought comfort to you.  Draw a picture to go with your written description.  Standard 5, Benchmark 3
3. Make a scrapbook for Ashley.  Include items you think Ashley would want to save from her experience.  Write an explanation for each item you include.  Standard 3, Benchmark 2