Children’s

Sol­dier Doll

Jen­nifer Gold
  • Review
November 7, 2014

There’s just some­thing about that antique baby doll that Eliz­a­beth finds at a garage sale and buys as a birth­day gift for her dad. It’s not just that it’s dressed up in a soldier’s uni­form. The doll looks like, well, that it has sto­ries to tell. It does — in fact, sol­dier doll” turns out to be the inspi­ra­tion behind a famous World War I poem of that name. Eliz­a­beth is only the lat­est link in a long chain of the doll’s own­ers, reach­ing back to World War I, going through the Holo­caust and World War II, and then on to Viet­nam. In alter­nat­ing chap­ters, the action moves between Eliza­beth’s life and fam­i­ly, in the present, and the dif­fer­ent events in the doll’s long life. There is just enough his­to­ry to put each war into con­text, and be advised, there is plen­ty of tragedy and death. But the author man­ages to main­tain a note of hope­ful­ness and uplift. Sol­dier Doll is not a Jew­ish sto­ry, though it does have Jew­ish con­tent, but rather the sto­ry of war and its ram­i­fi­ca­tions for every­one that is touched by it. Undoubt­ed­ly, it will pro­voke thought­ful discussion. 

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 13 – 18.

Discussion Questions