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Doll Bones by Holly Black
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Doll Bones

by Holly Black

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,3841158,659 (3.78)50
Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.
  1. 10
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Readers will savor the tension of both horror stories involving characters seeking ways to put souls to rest. Each story explores the distinctions between fantasy and reality in a deliciously creepy way.
  2. 10
    The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn (HollyMS)
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» See also 50 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed the twists of this particular book, as well as the uncertainty about ghosts. Is the doll haunted? Is it just a coincidence, designed to keep drifting friends together? Even at the end, there is some question. I also love the depiction of the librarian in this book: it's good to have librarians who are not fresh out of school and who are also simultaneously kind and hip. Well written and fun. ( )
  slmr4242 | Oct 16, 2019 |
Creepy Good read! ( )
  Linnnnie | Oct 7, 2019 |
Well written, with believable characters. Since I love fantasy, I was not that much of a fan of the "is it magic or not" question, which was never really resolved. I suppose that's what they mean these days by "magical realism." I did skim a lot. Not much new seemed to be added after the first half of the book. I'm not really surprised that it's gotten such mixed reviews. ( )
  Inky_Fingers | Sep 21, 2019 |
Great for boys or girls, ages 9-12 or so, who enjoy or don’t mind a tiny touch of spookiness in their stories. It’s only at campfire-shiver level, and does not dominate the book. I especially recommend this to kids who feel like their friends are growing up faster than they are. And extra-especially to the ones who need to play some D&D. Would someone introduce Poppy, Zach, and Alice to D&D right away? - See more at: http://www.parenthetical.net/2013/10/21/review-doll-bones-by-holly-black/ ( )
  SamMusher | Sep 7, 2019 |
Poppy, Alice, and Zach are in that tricky stage in between being a kid and being a teenager. Their favorite thing to do each afternoon is to play with figurines they've created “characters” for, with long elaborate histories. The Queen, a really old doll in Poppy’s mom’s china cabinet, is in charge of all the characters even though she can’t be touched (or Poppy’s mom would kill them). When Zach's father decides he's too old to be playing with toys and gets rid of the precious figurines, Zach is furious. He's so upset that he tells Alice and Poppy he doesn’t want to play with them anymore, and that he's outgrown their games. When Poppy and Alice wake Zach up one night to show him The Queen and tell him how she came to Poppy as a ghost named Eleanor, it's terrifying. Although he's scared, Zach knows he must go on the quest to bury her bones. They sneak out and take the bus to the cemetery to bury the bones of a girl who was never put to rest properly. On their quest they have ups and downs; there are hurdles that they could not imagine, and people who are just as creepy as the ghostly girl haunting their dreams. Will they make it back home by dinnertime? Will they ever find the place to bury Eleanor? Is Poppy telling the truth or has she made up the whole story about the ghost? You will have to read this adventure about growing up to find out how everything turns out!


After I saw the picture on the cover, I was nervous to read Doll Bones by Holly Black. I have always found certain dolls to be a little creepy and scary. I liked that the characters in the book enjoyed using their imaginations and that they had such a good friendship, even though they were each so unique and different. When Zach's toys got thrown away my heart went out to him, and I kept wishing he would tell his friends why he didn't want to play with them anymore. Throughout the quest I kept wondering what was going to happen next, and if they would make it home safely. I think the characters did some things that are a little dangerous, and I know if I sneaked out in the middle of the night my parents would probably kill me! Still, I think this is a book that a lot of kids can relate to as they struggle between wanting to stay kids and needing to grow up. Because the book has its creepy, spooky moments, I would recommend it to kids in fourth grade and up who like ghost stories. ( )
  Robinsonstef | Jul 10, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Holly Blackprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chaghatzbanian, SoniaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheeler, ElizaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Katherine Rudden, who played the game with me long after we were old enough to stop
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Poppy set down one of the mermaid dolls close to the stretch of asphalt road that represented the Blackest Sea.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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