Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll

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Member Reviews

I love that this story is based on a legend. It also definitely gives the creepy vibe. I just wish there was more development in the conclusion. The ending was unsatisfactory and there were a few events that could have been developed more.

Will creep out the intended audience!
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I requested Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll on NetGalley because I’m currently writing a middle grade horror story and I haven’t read much middle grade in the past couple years. Last year, when I listened to the audio book of Doll Bones, I remembered why I read books in the age category even though I was an adult. 

I had been hoping Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll would be as magical, spooky, and enthralling as Doll Bones was. Unfortunately, it didn’t come close. 

The concept, a haunted doll that cursed people who were rude or didn’t ask permission to take its picture, was great. There was plenty of suspense and tension. After taking a picture without permission and insulting the doll, bad and scary things kept happening to Al, and they kept gradually  getting worse. 

The problem was that Al was very flat as a character. Maybe some kids reading this book would be okay with that. Others would get bored. When I was in elementary school, I was a very reluctant reader. Eventually, it was finding books with fascinating characters that made me fall in love with reading. As a kid, a book like Doll Bones might have held my attention because of the well developed characters. This book would have bored me very quickly. 

I did like the lesson it taught about consent. I know that word often has sexual connotations, but consent is important with other things too. It’s important in all aspects life whether it is taking pictures, kissing, borrowing things, or playing. It today’s society and political climate, it is especially important for boys to learn about consent. 

A book where a boy takes a picture without consent, is punished for it, realizes he was wrong, and apologizes is valuable, even if the character was dull and didn’t grow in any other way. 

I didn’t like Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll enough to order it for my cousins’ kids, but I appreciate the suspense and the lesson it taught.
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Great book I like the fate bout Robert the doll that everyone knows and to top it off the note at the back from the person that wrote the book the cover was really nice that brought the hole book together was a great story line and written really well a book that you dont want put down until u finish it
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I really enjoyed this book! I've heard of Robert the Doll before, but only minor details as in it's haunted and it's on display in Florida. So I was definitely drawn to this book.
I enjoyed the illustrations throughout the story and I was anxiously reading to find out what was going to happen next.
Great story and I also enjoyed the author's notes at the end. Definitely would love to visit Robert the Doll in person one day and will definitely ask permission before taking a picture.
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Thank you so much to North Star Editions/Jolly Fish Press who sent me an ebook through NetGalley to review of The Curse of the Dead Eyed Doll written by Thomas Kingsley Troupe. 

This book was really fun to read, it was actually creepy and left you actually wondering what was going to happen next. 

Al Padilla goes on a school trip to a museum and the main attraction there is a haunted doll called Robert. Al doesn’t believe at all that the doll is haunted and breaks the one rule that is laid out for them. When bad things start to happen to him everyone says he’s cursed by the doll. Though he doesn’t believe it things still keep happening to mess with him. 

I loved the way it was written through a non believers perspective seeing him battling with his doubt but also his fear of what was going on around him. It’s a great and well written horror book, with the right suspense included and a creepy hook to keep you desperately wanting to know more. 

The illustrations in this book were beautifully made and really captured Robert the Doll, you could really feel the scary-ness of him from the pictures drawn. I really enjoyed reading this book and think it’s a great starter horror book for children wanting to get into the genre.
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Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll by Thomas Kingsley Troupe is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This is a middle grade book and there really is a doll named Robert that is supposed to be haunted. This of course is fiction and is very good! Robert wants people to ask permission to take his picture but our boy of the story thinks it's hogwash and doesn't! See what happens! Fun story!
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When I see a book about haunted dolls or houses I have to pick it immediately. In Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll, Robert the doll is an actual real doll that resides behind glass at the East Martello Museum that was once owned by Key West, Florida painter, and author Robert Eugene Otto. The legend says that you have to ask permission of the doll before taking his picture, which is exactly what the main character of the book, Alejandro Padilla doesn't do. This leads to sinister consequences for the boy who now have to find a way to stop the doll from tormenting him.
Initially, when I decided to start reading this book I didn't realize that this is middle-grade fiction, I thought it was an adult horror book - my bad entirely. I decided to continue reading anyway and I was pleasantly surprised with the story and the creepiness of it. It's not exactly a horror book, but I wish there were more books like this one when I was little. I especially enjoyed the fact that the book is based on a true story and that gave it an extra eery feel.
I think the book will be very interesting for kids that enjoy creepy tales and adults that are still children at heart.

*The book was provided to me from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.*
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The Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll is the fifth book in the Haunted States of America series. Every state has its own famous ghost tales and legends. Each book in the series focuses on a different state. So far, tales have been told from Tennessee, Minnesota, Texas, and Colorado. This newest book in the series adds a famous tale of a allegedly cursed child's toy in Florida. 

The basics: Al Padilla takes a school field trip to the East Martello Museum in Key West. All of the students are excited about seeing the museum's most popular exhibit: a doll that is reportedly cursed. Robert the Doll has a strange backstory, and was donated to the museum decades earlier. Supposedly, if the doll is disrespected or has his photo taken without first being asked for permission, bad things happen. The museum displays a collection of letters sent to Robert apologizing for bad behavior and asking for him to remove the curse placed on them for slights or disrespect. Al doesn't believe in curses or haunted dolls. So, he snaps Robert's picture without asking permission. When everything starts to go wrong after the field trip, Al starts to wonder if maybe he is cursed. 

This spooky tale is geared to middle grade readers. It's a bit creepy, but not overly so. There is a bit of supernatural stalking by an angry doll....but nothing that would be too freaky for elementary age kids. I enjoyed the story. I'm always up for a good creepy story, even one written for kids. I like the fact that the story is based on an actual real doll with a real creepy legend behind it. Robert exists. His real story is told in this book. I want to read the rest of the books in this series now! I will have to request my local library purchase them, as I believe local kids would love to read this series as well! 

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Flux (North Star Editions) via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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I like to read books about dolls, so I requested an advance reader copy of Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll from Netgalley. 

This is a  nice, not-too-scary story for the right young reader. It is based on a real doll in a real museum. The main character, Alejandro Padilla, is Hispanic and lives with his dad and brother in Key West, Florida.  There are believable interactions with other children and adults, and the accompanying illustrations enhance the story. Is Al truly haunted by the doll he insulted, or is it all in his imagination? You will have to decide.
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You can find this review and all of my others over at 

This book is slated for a 1st of September 2019 release!

Alejandro is stoked because today, his class is taking a field trip. Who doesn't love field trips! It doesn't even matter where they're going because it means that for a good chunk of the school day, he is not at school. As it so happens, Al and his class are headed for a civil war museum in Key West, Florida. The main attraction of the museum is a century old doll who goes by the name of Robert, the doll is said to be haunted and to really disdain being disrespected. One rule is that you must ask Robert's permission before taking a photo of him. Al, not believing anything that he's hearing, does not ask permission and on top of that, he insults the doll at the same time. It is said that those who do not follow Robert's rules, end up cursed. Al, not believing in the stories one bit, shrugs off the bad luck that comes his way following the field trip, but as the occurrences become more frequent and more sinister in nature, he's forced to evaluate what he really thinks. 

I found this to be an absolute joy to read. This is the second book that I've read by Troupe, the first being Trapped in Room 217, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. The first time I requested a book by Troupe, I had absolutely NO IDEA that his target audience is middle grade, so I was a bit taken back the first time. This time, I knew EXACTLY what I was in for and I feel like I enjoyed the story a hell of a lot more. 

I absolutely loved that this was based on a real doll and it's history, I feel like this really added a level of authenticity to the story that otherwise would not have occurred. Having also known about the real story just added a little bit of something more to my experience which was great. If you didn't know about the doll before reading this, I'm certain that it will spark your need to research it. 

The character of Alejandro was well written and I feel that Troupe really captured the mannerisms and thought patterns that a 13 year old boy would have when presented with a situation like this. I love that you can so easily see the correlation between what Alejandro is trying so hard to not believe in, and the fact that his FATHER has said that it's all nonsense. It really brings home the whole 'monkey see - monkey do' mentality of children who are still at an impressionable time in their lives. Something as simple as his dad not believing in ghosts and such, mean that Alejandro decides he doesn't either. I also love that it included how much Al cared about the perception of him through his father and brother's eyes. Some people may read this and see a simple, fun ghost story for kids, but I feel like it touches on a little bit more than that. It shows us how impressionable the children in our lives can be. If they're so hell bent on being perceived a certain way by their parents, seeking approval if you will, there's no telling how far they'll go to get that. In this situation it was relatively harmless, but in others, that may not be the case. 

The story was incredibly fast paced, and kept this pace up fro the entire duration. I could really FEEL how exhausted Al was as the story progressed, which to me deserves applause on behalf of Troupe's ability at his craft. The longer the story progressed and the more that Al continued to lie to himself, I could just feel myself sinking further and further down with him. The instances that occurred to Al after the visit to the museum definitely had some creep quality to them. I can remember being younger and having similar instances in the middle of the night in my room, so I could definitely sympathise with poor Al. 

The writing was well thought out and I feel that it suits the demographic Troupe is aiming for perfectly. It wasn't "dumbed down" at all for the younger reading group, and it was written in a way that me as an adult could still thoroughly enjoy.
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Robert the Doll is fascinating in his own right, and reading a story featuring him and his curse was both thrilling and (at times) terrifying. 

The scare factor was my favourite part of this book and I encourage readers of goosebumps to give it ago. 

Al may be fictional, but Robert the Doll is very real which makes this book a fair warning for those thinking about visiting him.
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Thomas Kingsley Troupe’s The Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll is scheduled to be released just in time for my favorite season: FALL!! Troupe’s book is a fictional encounter with one of the creepier things that exist in the world. Have you ever heard of Robert the Doll? He currently lives in a museum in Florida, but legend has it, he haunted the life of his former owner for years…well into the boy’s adulthood, marriage and eventual death.

Robert the Doll belonged to Robert Eugene Otto who lived in Key West, Florida. The doll was a gift to Robert from his grandfather for his birthday. As legend has it, the Robert used to blame any childhood mishap on the doll and soon the doll developed his own awareness to the world around him and later would move things around the room and disappear and reappear in different areas of the house. In his later years, Robert would the doll his own room where he would live until Robert and his wife later died. The new owner of their home described many supernatural occurrences involving the doll which would later be blamed for a variety of misfortunes including broken bones, car accidents and divorces. Today, Robert the Doll has a new home in a museum where visitors can see him first hand, but must heed his warnings of asking permission before taking his picture and must mind their manners, if not, Robert will take his revenge on you.

Troupe’s novel is a short read, about 47 pages. It tells the story of Al, a young boy who takes part in a field trip to the museum to meet Robert the Doll. He and his friend, Selma are skeptical about Robert the Doll, but Selma also is fearful of the doll because as she says, but what if it IS real? She leaves Al alone with the doll and Al takes it upon himself to take a picture of Robert without his permission, completely disregarding the warning signs and the letters from people who have done the exact same thing to Robert in the past and have later had to apologize for their behavior. Al will later come to regret his decision as strange things start happening to Al and to those around him. Al must figure out how to accept that there are certain things in life that are just unexplainable and need to be respected…Robert the Doll is one of them.

The Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll by Thomas Kingsley Troupe is the latest middle grades horror story in the Haunted States of America Series. This book series showcases a haunted tale from one of the 50 states with easy language and mild illustrations that help bring the creepy story to life. As a kid who grew up on RL Stine, I would definitely invest in this series for my son when he is older and looking for a creepy bedtime story. As a teacher, I would pick these up for early middle-grade readers who need a high-interest story to keep them motivated. Other books in Troupe’s Haunted States of America Series include Beware the Bell Witch, Ghostly Reunion, Spirits of the Storm and Trapped in Room 217. 

Thomas Kingsley Troupe is a native of Minnesota. He has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books with many being geared more towards kids. His series include the Haunted in America Series as well as Hauntiques and Furry & Flo. When he is not writing, he enjoys ghost hunts and campy movies.

Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll (Haunted States of America) by Thomas Kingsley Troupe will be released on September 1, 2019 from Jolly Fish Press with ISBN 9781631633485. This review corresponds to an advanced electronic galley that was supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review.
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Review to come in August.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I am always looking for new books about creepy things, ghosts, hauntings, that kind of stuff. I love those stories, and so I was excited about this one. I am a bit confused with the age of the MC, he is 13, however with the writing style and how the character acted he felt much younger than that. There were a few mentions that made him rise back to 13, but generally I wouldn't give him more than 10 maybe 11 years. This is also the reason why I am tagging this one as a children's books. Normally I go by the age of the characters (0-12 = children's 13-18/19 = YA), but in rare cases like this book, or Thea Stilton (with the MCs in college), I go by writing style and how the book is presented/looks. 

This book features a very creepy doll, named Robert. You don't want to mess with Robert. Our MC meets Robert when he has a field trip to the museum that features Robert. Like most teen boys he doesn't give a hoot about any warnings or sad sob stories, so he makes a picture of Robert and him without permission. And from that moment things seem to go wrong. 

I wasn't a big fan of our MC. He was your typical boy it seemed, and I was just slightly annoyed with him that he would dismiss things that easily (especially given all the signs and the way the room felt (oppressive and horrible)) and also would tease his best friend. Who, just like me, has a very big NOPE to dolls. I don't cry when I see them, but if I can avoid them then I am happy. 

The things that happened to Al were pretty tame at first (flat tires, missing reports) but they got increasingly more creepy and dangerous as the book continued. I did like that most of the things that happened were things only Al could see. Which distanced him from friends and classmates. Which made it easier for the doll/the curse to do its thing. 

I was glad that he told his dad and brother and I loved their reactions to Al's story. *thumbs up*

The ending was at the first very creepy and OMG, but then it turned the other way. I am happy with how the author ended it. That was the way to end it, though maybe an epilogue would have been nice as well. :) 

The book also has illustrations, and I quite liked their style. It didn't always work with my copy on my Kindle (text was in images or the images were only small), but what I could see I liked. 

All in all, if you want a creepy book about a creepy doll and a boy who has to learn a lesson, read this one.
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I read "Curse of the Dead Eyed Doll" as an ARC on NetGallery.  This story is about a class trip to visit a local museum and it's resident  doll, Robert. Visitors are told bad things happen if you take a picture of Robert without asking permission first.  Alejandro does not believe in the the stories about Robert and snaps a picture. Readers' will be left wondering if all of Al's bad luck is coincidence or the the result of the curse. Did Al make Robert the doll angry for taking his picture without permission? What will happen to Al? This book is a page turner.  Great book for reluctant readers that love creepy, haunted tales. This book will appeal to middle school readers of R.L.Stine's Goosebumps.
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A great, spooky middle grade read. If you don't like creepy old dolls, even better. The curse that Al gets from the doll that he offended is enough to make anyone believe in Robert the Doll.
Great for those that are fans of Goosebumps.
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This is the sixth book by Troupe that I have read and Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll didn't disappoint. Fans of ghost stories, hauntings, the paranormal, and the weird will already know the story of Robert, but Troupe's story is a great introduction for those who don't know of the doll. The story follows Al on a school field trip who does not follow the rules and gets haunted by Robert until he joins the many visitors who return to apologize.
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Alejandro Padilla isn't superstitious and he doesn't believe the stories that an old sailor doll in a Key West, Florida, museum is haunted. Robert the Doll might look creepy, but that doesn't mean...
Well this book creeped me out and I couldn't even sit with the lights off. 
The writing had me getting chills and I couldn't put it down. This was the kind of book that will creep me out and I love it for it.
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4.5 Stars
Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll is a YA story with middle school'ers being the target audience. I am many, many moons from school age, middle or otherwise. But I enjoy YA titles. I like being in 'the know' about what my granddaughter will be reading. Although an advanced reader, she is a couple of years from middle school. She really loves spooky, creepy stories, so we read this together. She loved it!

The story centers around a doll named Robert currently on display in a Key West, Florida museum. Before entering Robert's room visitors are instructed to be respectful at all times and if they want a photo, to ask Robert's consent first. All the students comply, except one. (There is always one.) Al doesn't believe in such mumbo-jumbo. So acting the part of class smarty-pants, he insults Robert the doll and snaps a picture without permission. 

Soon after strange things start happening. He chalks his sudden case of bad luck up to coincidence. There's no such thing as haunted dolls. As the reader sees Al spiraling into a frenzied state of near insanity his denial of the supernatural ring more and more hollow. Is Al being haunted by Robert or is he driving himself mad?

I am flipping the pages like 'mad'. . . Curious to know what happens next. The author's vocabulary, overall pacing, and characters were well thought out. I kept wondering about Al's Mother. I would've liked an explanation of her absence. My granddaughter asked about her too. She thought if his Mom had been there, he could've confided in her. We both wished the story had been a little longer. Maybe then some of the important sections would have felt more realistic, vs. stated and rushed past. All said this is an excellent, very creepy, rapid read that saves the real chiller to last. Standing your hair on end with five little words -- "Based on a true story." Don't miss this one. (You wouldn't want to insult Robert. LOL)
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If I had been able to go there, I'd certainly go  to that museum in Key West! This book threw me back towards the years I was at middle school-age and loved horror stories - I would have loved it back then as I loved it this afternoon. It is creepy without blood and gore, but with all the suspence needed to keep me reading. Needless to say I finished 'Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll' in one sit. Not that it was hard to do, since it is a short book, but still. It got me reading and not wanting to stop reading.
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A creepy, atmospheric and engaging read. It's a good book that will keep you hooked till the last page.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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