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August Book Review 2.0: Doll Bones by Holly Black


Doll Bones by Holly Black


Doll Bones is my third Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee that I have read this summer and my favorite so far. This is my third book by Holly Black and with each one her way with words and the description she puts into the details of her settings and her characters is just astonishing. Her writing comes across as powerful yet effortless.

Summary (From GoodReads.com): "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 . . "



My thoughts: This a perfect amount of creepiness for middle schoolers. As an adult reading the book you might even laugh to yourself in remembrance of when you were easily creeped out as a tween. In middle school I remember trying to freak my friends out with ghost stories all the time. Ultimately I believe this book focuses on the hardships that childhood friendships endure when you all start to grow up and take interest in different things. Whether it is after school sports, cheerleading or new crushes we all go through similar experiences when our childhood friendships are tested. Zach, Poppy, and Alice get to explore and confront those changes and their childhood relationships as they embark on a very unique journey to return this mysterious china doll to her final resting place. I can't help but love that they also spend the night in a local library and get caught by a pink haired librarian. Bonus points for Holly Black. 


Audience: This is a solid middle grade read for grades 6+. For lovers of creepy stories, adventures, and tales of friendship.




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