Doll Bones by Holly Black
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 . . .
I am going to embarrass myself and start with a confession. This is the first book I’ve read by Holly Black. I know, it’s crazy. I write a book blog for mostly YA and I’ve never read Holly Black. I even went to her book signing in San Diego this year and I own quite a few of her books. TBR and Beyond’s middle grade May events pushed me to finally pick one up and I was not disappointed.
First of all, this was pretty dark for a middle grade book. A doll made of bone with ash/bone found inside? Super creepy. I loved it.
I really enjoyed the writing and the illustrations. These kids had the best imaginations. I loved the stories they made up for the dolls. And the quest they went on was so cool. I can’t imagine leaving my state without an adult as a child. But they made it fun even when it was stressful and they were scared.
“Zach thought she might be right. He thought of his dad, who wanted to do things and then didn’t. And he decided that even if it was dumb, he wanted to be the kind of person who was interesting enough to have a ghost talk to him. Even if the idea of the Queen being made of bones and filled with human ash grew more frightening the further they got from home.”
I loved how this book made me think about how things change so much when you’re grown. Real life often gets in the way of fun and adventure. The book also showed how you sometimes start to grow apart as your interests change. But friendship is something worth fighting for.
I gave this book 4 stars and I’m looking forward to reading more of Holly’s books soon.
Have you read Doll Bones? What is your favorite Holly Black book?