By Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, illustrated by Brian Selznick
Published 2003 by Hyperion
Annabelle Doll and her family have lived in the same house for many years, played with by one family through the generations. But Annabelle's beloved Auntie Sarah went missing quite some time again and she longs to find out the truth of what happened to her. When a new Doll family moves in, will Annabelle be spurred to action?
This series was highly recommended by one of my grad school professors and had obviously already been on my radar, illustrated by the amazing Selznick and written by the woman who gave us The Babysitter's Club. I picked it up recently as a quick read to fill in amongst the longer, darker stuff I usually read. I enjoyed it well enough, though I'm not generally a fan of anthropomorphic stories (talking animals, animated objects, etc.). However, this is really a cute story that I think kids will relate to easily. Annabelle is full of curiosity but is also nervous about potentially breaking the Doll Code of Honor. There are a lot of different things going on here, which was a bit surprising to discover. Annabelle is learning the truth about her family and desperately wants to find out what really happened to her Auntie Sarah. Additionally, a new Doll family arrives and they are very different from Annabelle's family. Will they be able to get along despite their differences? I think a lot of what Annabelle is going through in this story will be familiar to young readers as well. The illustrations are, of course, gorgeous and support the story nicely. I will definitely be picking up the second book in the series.