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Doll Bones

by and

Doll Bones Cover

ISBN13: 9781416963981
ISBN10: 1416963987
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A doll that may be haunted leads three friends on a thrilling adventure in this delightfully creepy novel from the New York Times bestselling co-creator of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen — and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?

Review:

"A little bit scary and full of heart, this story grabbed me and wouldn't let go." Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award winning author of When You Reach Me

Review:

"Nobody does spooky like Holly Black. Doll Bones is a book that will make you sleep with the lights on." Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Review:

"Tightly focused, realistic tale — bladed with a hint of fairy-tale darkness....Stories about the importance of stories...don’t come much more forthright and affecting than this one." Booklist, starred review

Review:

"Every encounter redraws the blurry lines between childishness and maturity, truth and lies, secrecy and honesty, magic and madness. Spooky, melancholy, elegiac and ultimately hopeful; a small gem." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Review:

"A darn good adventure." Publishers Weekly, starred review

Review:

"It's as psychologically haunting as the ghost girl's physical haunting....Black begins with an ordinary experience of childhood and gives it a wicked twist to reveal the truth at the center of the impulse for storytelling." Shelf Awareness

Review:

"For the 10-12 year-old reader...Doll Bones may be perfect....It’s a deep, strange and compelling book, at times lovely, at times heartbreaking and deliciously weird.” Lauren Oliver, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[An] eerie, tender novel." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"This novel is a chilling ghost story, a gripping adventure, and a heartwarming look at the often-painful pull of adulthood." School Library Journal, starred review

Review:

"Black poignantly and realistically captures how adolescence inherently brings change; how growing up affects the ways children play; and the inevitable tests friendships face." Horn Book

Review:

"Black manages a careful balancing act of reality and fantasy, using the effectively creepy ghost story as the backdrop to a poignant exploration of what is lost along the way to adulthood....Keenly felt." BCCB, starred review

Review:

"Compelling, chill-at-the-nape tale with dynamics and emotional depth....The novel's eerie vibe and eek-worthy plot may keep readers turning pages into the wee hours, but it's the vivid characters and skillfully developed themes of identity, friendship and loss that linger long in the mind." The Washington Post

About the Author

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, The Good Neighbors graphic novel trilogy (with Ted Naifeh), the Curse Workers series, and her new ghostly middle grade novel, Doll Bones. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. She currently lives in New England with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret door. Visit her at BlackHolly.com.

Eliza Wheeler grew up in Wisconsin and got a degree in art and design from the University of Wisconsin. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Visit her at WheelerStudio.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Beverly B, July 25, 2014 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Can a novel be both sweet and creepy? I guess it can because that is how I would describe Doll Bones. It is mostly the story of a long time childhood friendship coming to an end as adolescence approaches, but it is also a paranormal quest story about a scary antique doll with ghostly powers who brings the three friends together for a final adventure. Zach, Alice and Poppy are all reluctant to admit "The Queen," the hideous doll, is having a profound impact on them. They are all also reluctant to admit that the looming changes in their lives scare them. When they run off to solve the mystery of The Queen, they are also running away from the things at home that are making them unhappy. Their journey is short, but engaging. The characters they encounter are interesting, and the obstacles they face are easily conquered with a little imagination and a willingness to break the law. The ending is contrived, but appealing to middle grade readers. I appreciated that author, Holly Black, has the characters provide a resolution for The Queen's conflict, but their own personal conflicts are not neatly wrapped up to provide a happily ever after ending. Poppy, Alice and Zach return home to take on the challenge of their personal fears and demons.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
The Lost Entwife, October 25, 2013 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
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!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
EllenSka, July 20, 2013 (view all comments by EllenSka)
YA ghost story featuring 3 lower-class 12-year-olds: Zach, Poppy, and Alice, who are still “playing with dolls,” which is to say, acting out elaborate stories using action figures, as one does in various role-playing games. The old doll in one of their houses that they’ve made the Queen of their games appears to be coming alive and wants something from the trio. Wonderfully plotted, fast paced, great character development. Hope we see more stories set in this community. And it's a good thing Holly Black doesn’t write adult horror or suspense, because she had me going plenty already, and I couldn’t put it down.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416963981
Author:
Holly Black and Eliza Wheeler
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Illustrator:
Wheeler, Eliza
Author:
Black, Holly
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children s Middle Readers-General
Publication Date:
20130507
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
from 10 up to 14

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Awards » Newbery Award Winners
Children's » Featured Titles
Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Middle Readers » New Arrivals
Children's » Middle Readers » Scary Stories
Children's » Paranormal Fiction
Children's » Sale Books
Children's » Scary Stories » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Children's » Staff Picks
Young Adult » Fiction » Newbery Award Winners
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship

Doll Bones Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.98 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Margaret K. McElderry Books - English 9781416963981 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A little bit scary and full of heart, this story grabbed me and wouldn't let go."
"Review" by , "Nobody does spooky like Holly Black. Doll Bones is a book that will make you sleep with the lights on."
"Review" by , "Tightly focused, realistic tale — bladed with a hint of fairy-tale darkness....Stories about the importance of stories...don’t come much more forthright and affecting than this one."
"Review" by , "Every encounter redraws the blurry lines between childishness and maturity, truth and lies, secrecy and honesty, magic and madness. Spooky, melancholy, elegiac and ultimately hopeful; a small gem."
"Review" by , "A darn good adventure."
"Review" by , "It's as psychologically haunting as the ghost girl's physical haunting....Black begins with an ordinary experience of childhood and gives it a wicked twist to reveal the truth at the center of the impulse for storytelling."
"Review" by , "For the 10-12 year-old reader...Doll Bones may be perfect....It’s a deep, strange and compelling book, at times lovely, at times heartbreaking and deliciously weird.”
"Review" by , "[An] eerie, tender novel."
"Review" by , "This novel is a chilling ghost story, a gripping adventure, and a heartwarming look at the often-painful pull of adulthood."
"Review" by , "Black poignantly and realistically captures how adolescence inherently brings change; how growing up affects the ways children play; and the inevitable tests friendships face."
"Review" by , "Black manages a careful balancing act of reality and fantasy, using the effectively creepy ghost story as the backdrop to a poignant exploration of what is lost along the way to adulthood....Keenly felt."
"Review" by , "Compelling, chill-at-the-nape tale with dynamics and emotional depth....The novel's eerie vibe and eek-worthy plot may keep readers turning pages into the wee hours, but it's the vivid characters and skillfully developed themes of identity, friendship and loss that linger long in the mind."
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