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Doll Bones Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
What most impressed me is Black's perfect recall. She remembers EXACTLY what it's like to be that age, not a kid, but not a teenager, either, in that moment of life when things are just starting to get really complicated. Be prepared for some fierce nostalgia.
The scares aren't off the kiddie menu, either, and I would caution parents to be aware of that. I've been reading Stephen King since I was twelve (I'm in my 30s now) and I had very unsettling dreams while reading Doll Bones.
I almost gave this four stars because of the ending. I found it to be very abrupt--but then again, that could have more to do with the styling of the genre than the author's plan. Middle grade doesn't usually linger long after the climax.
I'd highly recommend this for older tweens/young teens who can handle a good scare.
Doll Bones by Holly Black is a spooky ghost story. This is the type of book that I think kids will be clamoring for. Holly Black writes with a style that creates a spooky atmosphere. The story is that three children Polly, Zach and Alice are all best friends. They have been playing a make believe game with figures and dolls for years. When it seems like the game might end forever, the trio embark on a quest, one last game. Polly says she had a vision of a ghost possessing the doll they had dubbed the Queen. Now they are on a quest to bury her with her family.
This book is aimed at the upper elementary level ( grades 4 and up). As far as ghost stories goes this book is good for that level. It is spooky but not extremely scary. I think that the story is more interesting than the typical Goosebumps book. This book differs from a Goosebumps book because it is well written. The characters are developed and you care about all of them. None of the three main characters seem like cardboard cutouts. I would recommend it to very imaginative children between grades 4 and 6 because they would appreciate the game that the characters play.
I rate this book 5 stars for being a spooky well written ghost story.
By and large middle schoolers do not play with dolls. But Zach, Poppy and Alice have been playing "the game" for years and it's only gotten better with time. Using dolls of every type they spin wild tales and live out personalities different from their own. That is, until Zach's dad throws out his toys in an effort to stop the game. Ashamed, Zach lies to his friends that he no longer wants to play. This act leads to unforeseen consequences when, in desperation, Poppy releases a bone china doll from her mother's cabinet, only to find herself haunted by the ghost of a long dead girl.Read more ›
Doll Bones was not as scary as I thought it would be (thank goodness). If I had to classify it into one category, I think I would say it was more of a coming of age story than a ghost story. The creepy ghost living inside the doll was ghost was secondary.
The one thing that really set Doll Bones apart from other middle grades books that I have read was the believable emotions between characters. Holly Black did a great job showing the budding complexities of preteens. Zach, Poppy, and Alice have differing home situations, and each child has a reason for continuing the quest set before them. They are each at a very delicate time in their lives, where many things are changing and they don't know how to deal with those changes. This book has a great message about growing up and friendship. Any reader will be able to find something to relate to, regardless of gender.
It is also has a quick pace to keep a younger readers' attention. Without a steady supply of mystery and action, a younger reader might get lost before finishing nearly 250 pages. I felt like the various plots merged well together and kept the pacing on track. The ghost story helped fuel the quest and kept the characters engaged, which in turn kept me as a reader turning the pages.
Overall, Doll Bones is best suited for readers ages 10-12 (maybe I bit younger if they can handle the length of the book).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Review from my 9-year old....it's not too creepy but it's very exciting. It is a good reading level for her, she reads at a 7. Read morePublished 14 days ago by banana jack
I Thought Doll Bones Was So Scary That It Will Grab You Until You Sleep With The Lights On
Interesting and unusual read. It was kind of scary at times in a good way. I really liked the friendship between the 3 main characters. This is a good 4th - 6th grade read.Published 2 months ago by Michelle Schultz
I read a lot of horror books. I feel that it is a part of my duty as a horror writer to read a lot of horror books, and I love my horror books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert Holt
Doll Bones by Holly Black is a fantasy / mystery / creepy fiction novel. It follows the adventure of three children as they attempt to discover the past of a spirit trapped inside... Read morePublished 3 months ago by A Kid's Review