Doll Bones by Holly Black
- Method of Obtaining: I obtained my copy from my local library.
- Published by: Margaret K. McElderberry Books
- Release Date: 05.07.2013
Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .
Every once in a while I’ll come across a middle grade book that makes me forget I’m reading a middle grade level book. Doll Bones did that for me. I was thoroughly engrossed with this slightly creepy, fascinating tale about three friends, two girls and a boy, and their fantastic make-believe game. I felt like my childhood came rushing back to me as I remembered being thoroughly engrossed in the stories that lived inside of my head and how I couldn’t wait to get my sisters back upstairs to continue where we had left off. While we didn’t do anything nearly as adventurous as Zach, Poppy, and Alice – we had our moments of adventure and and of scares.
What I appreciated most about Doll Bones was that the book goes the distance. Everything is realistic, well – as realistic as a scary, ghost-like story can be. Zach, Poppy, and Alice do things that typical kids can do. They make bad decisions, they worry about money, they deal with real growing up issues, and they struggle with senses of shame and responsibility and fear. This all comes in a package of a book that includes a scary, ancient doll who just so happens to be a fulfillment of everything that scared me as a child (and to be honest, as an adult as well).
Even though there’s creepy moments in Doll Bones (and can I just say that the cover here is fantastic and is what drew me to the book!), it’s not too creepy. I wouldn’t be worried to send it to my nephew and niece to read, and I definitely didn’t have issues turning off the light at night… and yes, that’s happened with other creepy books. There is just enough creepy in this book and its mixed with a nice little mystery and some interesting friendship moments between the three friends. I highly recommend this book for both readers and reluctant readers. I think it’ll capture the interest of both groups well, and I think it’d be a great Halloween read!
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