Customer Reviews for

Doll Bones

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
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5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

Best MG of Year!

Doll Bones is a new Middle Grade title from the talented Holly Black. It is, thus far, my favorite MG read of the year. It is a genre busting title that covers horror, suspense, mystery, and the supernatural. Or it could be a plain old contemporary realistic novel. It i...
Doll Bones is a new Middle Grade title from the talented Holly Black. It is, thus far, my favorite MG read of the year. It is a genre busting title that covers horror, suspense, mystery, and the supernatural. Or it could be a plain old contemporary realistic novel. It is all in how you look it at.

Doll Bones follows three twelve year olds who have been friends for years.

Zach: He is a talented basketball player and has recently attracted the interest of the cool kids and girls in his middle school. He doesn't want anyone to discover he still plays with action figures with his two friends who are girls, but he also loves it and doesn't want to give it up.

Alice: She is a drama girl who loves theater and acting and uses it to escape from her domineering grandmother, who is her guardian. She uses the game with her friends for the same thing and has created ever more dangerous and reckless characters who take the risks she is afraid to take herself.

Poppy: She is the youngest of a group of delinquent siblings. Her house is always a mess and her parents have quit trying to maintain order. It is her house the other two come to for their game, and it is Polly who is the diabolical thinker who comes up with all of the games danger and adventure. It is why she often plays the part of villain.

The game is complex. These kids created an epic imaginary world culled from tales and myths they read. Into it they placed characters who have real lives and histories. Over this world rules the Queen in her glass tower, an antique china doll belonging to Poppy's mom and locked in a cabinet to keeep her safe. They are invested in their game and everything it entails. Until one day Zach tells the girls he doesn't want to play anymore. Then one night the girls show up and tell him a horrifying story. Poppy released the Queen from the tower hoping she could convince Zach to keep playing. Now she is having dreams about a girl who was murdered. A girl whose bones were ground up and made into a china doll. She is demanding a proper burial in the cemetery in her home town. And she wants Poppy, Zach, and Alice to take her there.

All three characters are vivid, layered, and interesting. The story is told in third person from Zach's perspective so it is his thoughts and struggles the reader is most connected to. However, the girls' struggles are also depicted through Zach's interactions with and musings on them, even if he doesn't understand all of what he is seeing. The struggle here between childhood and emerging adolescence is rendered so well. It is happening gradually, yet faster than any of them would like, particularly Poppy who feels like she is being left behind by the other two. There is the struggle to hold on to the things that are most familiar as everything seems to be changing too fast. Yet there is an excitement and anticipation about the changes as well, at least in Zach and Alice. This is a story any middle school kid will find themselves in, they all have this same struggle.

Then there is the creepy horror part of the story. And creepy it is. Is Poppy messing with the other two? Spinning a yard to keep them playing the game, keep them attached to her? Or is the Queen really the ghost of murdered girl named Eleanor who is forcing the three to do her bidding by scaring the pants off of them? Black laid out her plot perfectly, setting down each event to keep the reader wondering, asking. Everything that happens to the kids can be

posted by Brandy_Muses on May 31, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Hells yea

Reed!

posted by Anonymous on January 13, 2014

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Best MG of Year!

    Doll Bones is a new Middle Grade title from the talented Holly Black. It is, thus far, my favorite MG read of the year. It is a genre busting title that covers horror, suspense, mystery, and the supernatural. Or it could be a plain old contemporary realistic novel. It is all in how you look it at.

    Doll Bones follows three twelve year olds who have been friends for years.

    Zach: He is a talented basketball player and has recently attracted the interest of the cool kids and girls in his middle school. He doesn't want anyone to discover he still plays with action figures with his two friends who are girls, but he also loves it and doesn't want to give it up.

    Alice: She is a drama girl who loves theater and acting and uses it to escape from her domineering grandmother, who is her guardian. She uses the game with her friends for the same thing and has created ever more dangerous and reckless characters who take the risks she is afraid to take herself.

    Poppy: She is the youngest of a group of delinquent siblings. Her house is always a mess and her parents have quit trying to maintain order. It is her house the other two come to for their game, and it is Polly who is the diabolical thinker who comes up with all of the games danger and adventure. It is why she often plays the part of villain.

    The game is complex. These kids created an epic imaginary world culled from tales and myths they read. Into it they placed characters who have real lives and histories. Over this world rules the Queen in her glass tower, an antique china doll belonging to Poppy's mom and locked in a cabinet to keeep her safe. They are invested in their game and everything it entails. Until one day Zach tells the girls he doesn't want to play anymore. Then one night the girls show up and tell him a horrifying story. Poppy released the Queen from the tower hoping she could convince Zach to keep playing. Now she is having dreams about a girl who was murdered. A girl whose bones were ground up and made into a china doll. She is demanding a proper burial in the cemetery in her home town. And she wants Poppy, Zach, and Alice to take her there.

    All three characters are vivid, layered, and interesting. The story is told in third person from Zach's perspective so it is his thoughts and struggles the reader is most connected to. However, the girls' struggles are also depicted through Zach's interactions with and musings on them, even if he doesn't understand all of what he is seeing. The struggle here between childhood and emerging adolescence is rendered so well. It is happening gradually, yet faster than any of them would like, particularly Poppy who feels like she is being left behind by the other two. There is the struggle to hold on to the things that are most familiar as everything seems to be changing too fast. Yet there is an excitement and anticipation about the changes as well, at least in Zach and Alice. This is a story any middle school kid will find themselves in, they all have this same struggle.

    Then there is the creepy horror part of the story. And creepy it is. Is Poppy messing with the other two? Spinning a yard to keep them playing the game, keep them attached to her? Or is the Queen really the ghost of murdered girl named Eleanor who is forcing the three to do her bidding by scaring the pants off of them? Black laid out her plot perfectly, setting down each event to keep the reader wondering, asking. Everything that happens to the kids can be

    19 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 16, 2013

    You may never look at a doll in the same way again. Zach, Poppy,

    You may never look at a doll in the same way again. Zach, Poppy, and Alice are normal middle-schoolers who always get together to play their own special game, in which they use action figures to concoct creative fantasies involving pirates, sea monsters, and other make-believe characters. However, when Zach’s newly-returned father does something unexpected, it seems that the game may be over forever. That is, until a strange doll—dubbed the Queen—begins haunting Poppy and leads them on a quest to put a young girl’s spirit to rest. Their adventure takes them to East Liverpool, Ohio, and along the way they encounter various obstacles that threaten their success and even their friendship. In the end, however, they learn that some things are worth fighting for and that despite inevitable changes some things, such as camaraderie, can prevail.

    Holly Black’s “Doll Bones” is a children’s horror novel that explores one of the most common playthings of childhood in a new and disconcerting light. This book is intended for an older adolescent audience, as younger children may struggle with the overall mature vocabulary that Black employs, such as “portmanteau,” “acrid,” and “insomniac,” to name a few. It includes a modified version of the story behind East Liverpool’s Lotus Pottery and provides some historical background information on pottery making. Although it is classified in the horror genre and has a few creepy moments, the story itself is not very frightening and is suitable for older children, who will be able to relate to the characters and their common pre-teen problems, including parents, makeup, friendship, and even dating. “Doll Bones” is a highly imaginative story that delves into the realm of make-believe and emerges with a strong message of friendship and perseverance, making this an interesting and encouraging read.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Kd

    I love this book

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2014

    I listened to this book and loved it very much. I highly recomme

    I listened to this book and loved it very much. I highly recommend this book for anyone, any age. Highly entertaining.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Good Creepy Midgrade Story

    Zach, Alice, and Poppy have been friends forever and have played with their dolls/action figures with in depth plots. But Zach is turning 12 and his step father thinks he is too old to play with dolls. So, he decides to throw all of them away. Upset and ashamed, Zach stops playing with Alice and Poppy but doesn’t tell them why.

    Alice and Poppy are confused. Part of it is because Alice is old enough to start having a crush on Zach. Poppy feels left behind and talks both Zach and Alice into solving the Queen’s mystery. The Queen is an antique doll that has been in Poppy’s mother’s case forever. But Poppy says the doll is haunted by a little girl whose bones were used to make the porcelain. Zach, Alice, and Poppy set out for one last adventure to solve the mystery of the Queen.

    All of the kids are on the verge of adolescence and are trying to come to terms with this. Poppy is the most crushed since she is the youngest and feels everyone is leaving her. Zach is torn between being the adult his step father wants him to be and staying with his childhood friends. Alice lives with her grandmother and is having a hard time with trying to grow up and follow all of the strict rules. Of course the doll is sinister and although it seems like it really wants help it also seems like it is quite happy being evil.

    This story is meant for midgrade kids but I think anyone would like it. There is a creepy factor without being too scary. I listened to an audio book of this story and a love the narrator. He really drew me into the story.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    A Doll's Bones

    This books was really fantastical with so many twists and turns you could get lost. It had a great plot and relatible characters. I expecially like how she left it open to write another book ( which I really hope she does :D). It was enjoyable to read. My only dislike was that it was so short. I read it in one day, and one hundred forty pages later there was nothing left to read.
    Great book and would recommend it to any fiction lovers %100

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Aaggdg

    It sounds very good

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Lovely pandas

    Sure you should read it.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    Great read

    :)

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Read discription. I need some help related to this book.

    Im nine and am a very fluent reader. Should i be reading this. I have very wide vocabulary and have synonyms for a pluthura of words. So if you have a answer for me in your heading type in "lovely pandas". Thank you.

    P.S. im rating it this way beacause i have not read this book

    2 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2015

    ;-(

    SCARY

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2014

    Great story

    Husterucal scarya

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2014

    Awesome

    I love it!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2014

    Showgirl

    Whats the age level?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2014

    HANNAH PLOURDE

    Doll bons is the worst book ever

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2014

    Love it

    I absolutely love this story. For anyone grades 3 and up.

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  • Posted October 26, 2014

    This book is about three kids who acquire a haunted doll.  Zach,

    This book is about three kids who acquire a haunted doll.  Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends for a long time and they decide to go on a quest to discover who the ghost girl who is visiting and communicating with Poppy is and hat happened to her. This is a great coming of age story. The kids are in the painful stage of changing and growing up. When it is time to focus on becoming who you are and to start putting away childish things. They all struggle with what they want to do and what they feel they should be doing. You watch the characters grow and discover more about themselves and each other.  They are trying to navigate through their changing relationships and trying to help and understand the ghost. 




    This was a good middle grades book. It was a bit creepy and if you have someone who isn't a big fan of dolls this book is not for them. I loved that the book had some illustrations to go with it. They were very well done and they were so beautifully done. I took the book out of my school's library and plan on buying my own copy of the book. I enjoyed everything about this book. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2014

    I love this book

    I check this book out at my school library i read all of it twice it was the best book ever and it was not scary a wonder what she wiil anwser the qenation at the end of the book.BOO!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    I read this it.

    It was creepy.
    If it was not creepy it would have 5 stars.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    Mel

    Do it! Buy it andd read it. its sooooo awesome!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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