After her brother, sister, and father die in a plane crash, Daralynn Oakland receives 237 dolls from well-wishers, resulting in her nickname: Dolly. But dolls are little comfort to a twelve-year-old girl whose world is rocked by the dramatic changes in her life, including her angry, grieving mother’s new job as a hairstylist at the local funeral home.
Dolly gets a job, too, where she accidentally invents a fashionable new haircut. But in Grounded by Kate Klise, her real work begins when a crematorium comes to town, and someone has to save a dying business, solve a burning mystery, and resuscitate the broken hearts in Digginsville, Missouri, population 402.
“This improbably lighthearted mystery, told from Daralynn’s entertainingly candid perspective, deals with death and its aftermath in a straightforward style that puts the ‘fun back in funeral.’ ” —Horn Book Magazine
“In the sentimental end, this salty-sweet, nut-sprinkled novel underscores the ‘grounding’ that comes with caring for people, whether it’s flashy-trashy Aunt Josie and her boardinghouse gentlemen, senile Mamaw poignantly nurturing her dolls or, most powerfully of all, Daralynn and her mother finding their way back to each other.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This quiet story illuminates and celebrates the human need for connection beyond the grave.” —Booklist
“While her subject matter is serious, author Kate Klise brings humor and warmth to this heartfelt story of healing and hope.” —BookPage
* “The relationship between Daralynn and her mother, neither of whom has really dealt with her grief, is portrayed sensibly and tenderly. The fringe characters also shine. . . . The title of the book is serendipitous in many ways, and will leave readers with much to think about.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Balancing Daralynn’s family tragedy with gentle humor and an evocative late-1960s setting, Klise’s writing is refreshingly matter-of-fact and studded with simple, powerful images and memorable, entertaining characters.” —Publishers Weekly