Behind the Attic Wall
is a children's mystery novel written by Sylvia Cassedy in 1983. Troubled twelve-year-old Maggie Turner has been thrown out of more boarding schools and foster homes than she can remember before she's sent to Adelphi Hills to live with her stern aunts and silly uncle. Maggie refuses to give anyone or anything a chance until she begins to hear voices...voices calling to her from a secret spot behind the attic. What she discovers there seems like a couple of ordinary dolls who soon become the best and only friends she's ever had.
- Alpha Bitch: Maggie imagines her new classmate Randi will become this.
- Bittersweet Ending: Maggie never sees the dolls again and loses Uncle Morris, the only relative who seemed to care for her and wasn't only interested in scolding her. But she's adopted by a family who loves her, and is shown having loving interactions with her little sisters.
- The Chosen One: Maggie, to the dolls
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Uncle Morris
- Coming of Age Story
- Death by Newbery Medal: Uncle Morris. Subverted when Timothy John and Miss Christabel appear to die, but come back on Maggie's last day at Adelphi Hills.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Maggie
- Follow the Leader: Takes a lot after The Secret Garden, only with talking dolls instead of a magic garden.
- Go to Your Room: Harriet and Lillian's favorite punishment
- Happily Adopted: Maggie at the end of the story
- Heroes Love Dogs: Timothy John and Miss Christabel's dog Juniper
- The Magic Goes Away: Or so we think.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, the aunts believe Maggie has crossed this by stealing a china ballerina to give the dolls as a present, cutting up a silk scarf for party decorations and accidentally causing a small fire in that spot behind the attic. And she skipped their party to have the doll party, too!
- Not Good with People: Maggie
- Pet the Dog: Harriet and Lillian give Maggie a baby doll to play with in the beginning, then later on treat her more gently after Uncle Morris dies, despite being enraged with her.