One-Eyed Doll

Paperback | September 2, 2014

byJames Preller, Iacopo Bruno

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Welcome. Have a seat. The doll will move if you ask nicely. She's got a story to tell. But be warned. One-Eyed Doll isn't just any tale. This is a Scary Tale.
Meet Malick Rice and his sister, Tiana. Two kids who love to hunt for hidden treasure and are about to make their biggest find yet. A small box, locked tight, buried behind a deserted house. A box meant to stay buried forever. in this bone-chilling tale from James Preller and Iacopo Bruno.

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Welcome. Have a seat. The doll will move if you ask nicely. She's got a story to tell. But be warned. One-Eyed Doll isn't just any tale. This is a Scary Tale. Meet Malick Rice and his sister, Tiana. Two kids who love to hunt for hidden treasure and are about to make their biggest find yet. A small box, locked tight, buried behind a des...

JAMES PRELLER is the author of Six Innings, Bystander, and the Jigsaw Jones series. He lives in Delmar, New York, with his wife, three kids, two black cats, and not-so-scary dog. IACOPO BRUNO is a graphic artist and illustrator who lives in Italy.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 8.26 × 5.46 × 0.31 inPublished:September 2, 2014Publisher:Feiwel & FriendsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250040957

ISBN - 13:9781250040954

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1MALIK AND TIANA The Rice children, Malik and Tiana, often played Treasure Hunt together—especially during the oven-hot days of summer. They had never discovered any actual treasure, but that didn’t stop them from trying. Some days they found golf balls, weird rocks, old bottles. Mostly the hunt was just an excuse to wander under the cool umbrella of the dark woods. It was, they agreed, a good way to kill the blistering, hot days.Besides, you never know. As Malik said, “We’re not gonna find treasure, Tiana, if we never go looking for it.”Malik was ten years old. He was “the responsible one.” The serious one. Good teeth, clean hands. The boy who could be trusted to look after his little sister, wild Tiana, and keep her from harm.Malik didn’t mind. Not much, anyway. He might even tell you that he loved his sister’s wild black curls, her thin muscular arms, the way she seemed to float across rooms in yellow dresses. On some days, of course, Malik would frown and darken his gaze. It was hard to always be the responsible one. Like a weight he carried on his shoulders, day after day.“No, Tiana, get off that ledge.”“Put that down, Tiana. That’s glass.”“Not now, Tiana, Daddy’s sleeping. Leave him be.”Their father, Mr. Charles Rice, worked nights at the factory. Malik never figured out what exactly his Daddy did there, except that he returned home bone-tired and ready for bed. Right about the time most folks were getting up! Because of that simple fact—“Papa needs his sleep”—there was much tiptoeing around the house. Mama always said things like, “Shush, children,” and “Quiet now, Papa’s sleeping.” School days, it wasn’t too bad. Off on the bus they’d go, CLACKETY-CLACK, and away they went. But in the summer when Malik and Tiana were footloose and free, the house felt like a musty old library. Hush now, children, don’t say a word. Malik figured it was best to get outdoors and greet the day.Most mornings, Mama went off to her job (Mama worked in the kitchen at the “old age” home). Everybody in the Rice family had a job, she said, even Malik and Tiana. Malik’s job was looking after his free-spirited sister. Tiana’s job? Nobody had quite figured that out. She smiled and laughed, twinkled and danced. Maybe that was her role after all, just to shine like the sun. Tiana was a happy soul, so maybe making folks happy was her task in life. She lit up rooms like a 100-watt bulb. She laughed and the world laughed with her.One bad day, Tiana wandered over to the old place. That was the name of it, exactly that: the old place. Ask anybody in the neighborhood, they’d all know the spot you were talking about. The old, abandoned house at the edge of the woods. It was a falling-down, battered old place that had been empty for years. A real eyesore, everybody called it. One shudder swung loose on a nail—bang, bang, bang—and slammed against the house like a warning in the wind. Haunted, maybe. Nobody remembered folks ever living there, or if they did recall it, they didn’t say so. Except to repeat, “Now, you kids, stay away from that old place.”That was the warning heard up and down the block.STAY AWAY FROM THAT OLD PLACE.“Why?” the children sometimes asked.And the answer was always the same, “Nothing good can come of it, that’s all. Just stay away. Understand?”Malik and Tiana nodded their heads. They understood.At least, one of them did.The other one wasn’t as good at listening.2TIANA GOES MISSINGOn this particular afternoon, Malik and Tiana were joined by their neighbor, Soda Pop. Soda Pop was not his real name, of course. It says Arthur on his birth certificate. But somewhere along the line, everybody stopped calling him Arthur and started calling the orange-haired boy “Soda Pop,” on account of his love for fizzy, sugary drinks that turned good teeth bad.“Whatchu guys up to?” Soda Pop asked.“Treasure huntin’,” Malik drawled. “You can come if you want.”Soda Pop scratched his round belly, thinking it over. He said, “Got nothing else to do.” And he followed along.Tiana skipped to the lead. The boys talked about baseball teams and how the All-Star Game didn’t mean nothing anymore. “My dad says it ain’t what it used to be,” Soda Pop said. Malik mused, “I can’t think of anything that is.”“Take a look what I got,” Soda Pop said. He pulled out a thick stack of baseball cards from his back pocket. The two boys paused there on the ragged sidewalk, dandelions popping up from the cracks, flipping through the cards and commenting on each one. After a while, Malik lifted his head. He looked up the street. He looked down the street. “Where’d she go to now?” he wondered aloud.Soda Pop shrugged, unworried. “Off somewhere’s, I suppose.”Malik peered down the road and there it stood in the distance, like a beaten fighter after fifteen rounds in the ring. The old place. A shivery feeling squeezed Malik’s heart like a sponge. “Come on,” he said, hurrying in the direction of the old place.“Hold up,” Soda Pop said. He had dropped his cards to the curb. “Not waiting,” Malik said. “Catch up if you want.” Off he went, walking fast, half running, in the direction of the old place. He called as he went, “Tiana? Hey, Tee? You holler if you hear me! Tiana, I’m not fooling around.”There was no sign of his sister.Malik walked the length of the block and now stood staring at the old place. The dusty yard was overgrown with tall grass and untrimmed bushes. The door was locked shut, with slats of wood nailed across it. All the windows were boarded up. There was no easy way inside. Malik figured it was unlikely that Tiana had gotten herself in there. But his heart still had that squeezed-out feeling. “Tiana!” he hollered. “You best not be inside that house.”Malik’s nerves jumped like live wires on the street. An inner voice told him, This is no place for a little girl. Find your sister right now.Pasty-faced Soda Pop pulled up, bent over and wheezing, short of breath. “Anybody”—pause, gasp—“ever told you”—pause, pant—“you walk too fast?”“Let’s check around back,” Malik replied, all business.“I ain’t going back there,” Soda Pop said. “Not for a bag of gummy worms, I wouldn’t. You know what folks say. A widow lady went crazy in there, before we was born. They took her away, loony as a jaybird. Place is haunted. Nope, I’m not going back there.”“Suit yourself,” Malik shrugged.And he went off, careful not to pass too near the old place, still looking for his lost sister. Text copyright © 2014 by James PrellerIllustrations copyright © 2014 by Iacopo Bruno