Friday, April 4, 2014

Doll Bones by Holly Black ~ Abbreviated Review

Doll Bones is a simply told tale of friendship and a creepy doll. I was really hesitant to read it at first, even though I've loved everything else that Holly Black has written - a book about kids who like to play with dolls? Sounds lame. But when it won a Newberry honor, I decided to give it a whirl.

Premise: Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever, playing an ongoing game with their action figures and dolls. But now that they're older, Zach's dad thinks he should move on to other games. Just when their friendship is about to break, Poppy's mother's creepy bone-china doll sends her a message. Suddenly, the kids find themselves crossing state lines on a quest to find the identity of the doll and put her to rest.

Review: I loved how genuine the friendship felt between Zach, Alice, and Poppy. As they each dealt with their changing middle school identities, there were equal parts arguing and regret about arguing.

I didn't expect to like the creepy doll stuff, but Holly Black included just enough creepiness to keep the reader going when the friendship bits got too realistic. Still, she stayed out of "totally scary" territory, which is something I appreciate. It turned out to be more of a mystery with great friendship elements, than anything else.

I've heard that this book is hugely popular with readers in grades 4-7. Can't wait to give it to a 5th grader!

This post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.


  1. I love Holly Black's books, and I actually never knew that she has written a children's book. Great post!

    It would mean so much to me if you could visit my blog:

    The theme focuses on books and the title according to the letter of the day!

    1. Have you read her newest YA book, Coldest Girl in Coldtown? I loved it! I'll definitely check out your blog. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Interesting review. I've heard of the author but not the book, though I've yet to read anything of hers. I want to though and this may get added to that list.

    A to Z commenter
    Reading at Dawn blog

    1. I highly recommend Holly Black's work, especially Coldest Girl in Coldtown and White Cat