Doll Bones

( 39 )

Overview

Discover the Newbery Honor winner Doll Bones, from Holly Black, the cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book. A School Library Journal Best Book. A Booklist Editor’s Choice Books for Youth. A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book. A NYPL “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.” A 2013 Goodreads Choice award nominee. A People Magazine “Best New Kids Book.” Six starred reviews!

Winner of a 2014 Newbery Honor Medal.

Zach, ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$12.90
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $5.49   
  • New (14) from $5.49   
  • Used (7) from $7.02   
Doll Bones

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

Discover the Newbery Honor winner Doll Bones, from Holly Black, the cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book. A School Library Journal Best Book. A Booklist Editor’s Choice Books for Youth. A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book. A NYPL “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.” A 2013 Goodreads Choice award nominee. A People Magazine “Best New Kids Book.” Six starred reviews!

Winner of a 2014 Newbery Honor Medal.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?

Doll Bones is a winner of the Newbery Honor, is the recipient of six starred reviews, was on four Best Book lists, and was called "perfect" by The New York Times.

A 2014 Newbery Honor Book

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Lauren Oliver
…for the 10-to-12-year-old reader, dreaming of boys while still cuddling a teddy bear at night, or privately wishing to revert to the simplicity of childhood while enjoying the sensation of growing up, Doll Bones may be perfect. And if at times there is an uneasy tension between narrative elements, that's probably due to the book's ambitions: tackling themes of familial loss, the disintegration of friendships, the disillusionments of age and what it means to believe, this story is—despite its emphasis on adventure and a strong narrative that propels the book forward—the opposite of fluff. It's a deep, strange and compelling book, at times lovely, at other times heartbreaking and deliciously weird.
The Washington Post - Mary Quattlebaum
…a compelling, chill-at-the-nape tale with dynamics and emotional depth reminiscent of the fraught, funny coming-of-age film Stand by Me…The novel's eerie vibe and eek-worthy plot may keep readers turning pages into the wee hours, but it's the vivid characters and skillfully developed themes of identity, friendship and loss that linger long in the mind…
Publishers Weekly
Zach plays with dolls. Never mind that they’re action figures, heroes in a wild, improvisational saga he acts out with friends Poppy and Alice. Never mind that he’s a solid student and rising basketball star. Zach is 12, and his father has decided this must stop. While Zach’s at school, the dolls go to the dump, and Zach is left with only rage. He quits the game, but Alice and Poppy haul him out for one more quest: a bus trip to lay to rest the Queen, a bone china doll that Poppy swears is made from the bones of a murdered girl. Another crazy quest from Poppy’s fertile brain? Or could this ghost story be real? The wonderfully eerie doll, the realism of the kids’ improbable logic, and the ache underlying every character’s actions create as much a state of existential anxiety as narrative tension. Black captures the adolescent sense that things are about to explode before they get explained. And it’s a darn good adventure, too. Ages 10–14. Author’s agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (May)
From the Publisher
"A little bit scary and full of heart, this story grabbed me and wouldn't let go."

"Nobody does spooky like Holly Black. Doll Bones is a book that will make you sleep with the lights on."

"Tightly focused, realistic tale—bladed with a hint of fairy-tale darkness.... Stories about the importance of stories...don’t come much more forthright and affecting than this one."

"Every encounter redraws the blurry lines between childishness and maturity, truth and lies, secrecy and honesty, magic and madness. Spooky, melancholy, elegiac and ultimately hopeful; a small gem."

*"A darn good adventure."

"It's as psychologically haunting as the ghost girl's physical haunting....Black begins with an ordinary experience of childhood and gives it a wicked twist to reveal the truth at the center of the impulse for storytelling."

"For the 10-12 year-old reader...Doll Bones may be perfect....It’s a deep, strange and compelling book, at times lovely, at times heartbreaking and deliciously.”

"[An] eerie, tender novel".

starred review School Library Journal
*"This novel is a chilling ghost story, a gripping adventure, and a heartwarming look at the often-painful pull of adulthood."
Library Media Connection
Hand this book to any middle schooler and they will immediately relate to that tween feeling of moving from childhood to adolescence.
Children's Literature - Beverly Melasi
Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends for a long time, and they have been playing the same game for as long as they can remember. The game takes place in a world of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. And ruling over them all is the Great Queen, who is really a bone-china doll confined in a cabinet. Now that they're in middle school, Zach's dad wants him to give up the game with his friends and start playing basketball. Zach finally agrees, causing strain on his friendship with the others. So when Poppy says she's been having dreams about the Queen, he reluctantly agrees to play one last game. Together, Zach and his friends go on one last quest to lay the Queen's ghost to rest. But strange things begin to happen. When the Queen is tossed into the water, Zach dives in and rescues her, causing him to think that he's finally lost his mind. Maybe he has. Black does a great job creating memorable characters while using plenty of scary and mysterious scenes, helping advance the story and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. This book was written by the co-creator of "The Spiderwick Chronicles." Reviewer: Beverly Melasi
Kirkus Reviews
A middle-grade fantasy dons the cloak of a creepy ghost tale to deliver bittersweet meditations on the nature of friendship, the price of growing up and the power of storytelling. The lifelong friendship of Zach, Poppy and Alice revolves around their joint creation, an epic role-playing saga of pirates and perils, queens and quests. But now they are 12, and their interests are changing along with their bodies; when Zach's father trashes his action figures and commands him to "grow up," Zach abruptly quits the game. Poppy begs him to join her and Alice on one last adventure: a road trip to bring peace to the ghost possessing her antique porcelain doll. As they travel by bus and boat (with a fateful stop at the public library), the ghost seems to take charge of their journey--and the distinctions between fantasy and reality, between play and obligation, begin to dissolve....Veteran Black packs both heft and depth into a deceptively simple (and convincingly uncanny) narrative. From Zach's bitter relationship with his father to Anna's chafing at her overprotective grandmother to Poppy's resignation with her ramshackle relations, Black skillfully sketches their varied backgrounds and unique contributions to their relationship. A few rich metaphors--rivers, pottery, breath--are woven throughout the story, as every encounter redraws the blurry lines between childishness and maturity, truth and lies, secrecy and honesty, magic and madness. Spooky, melancholy, elegiac and ultimately hopeful; a small gem. (Fantasy. 10-14)
Rebecca Stead
"A little bit scary and full of heart, this story grabbed me and wouldn't let go."
Jeff Kinney
"Nobody does spooky like Holly Black. Doll Bones is a book that will make you sleep with the lights on."
starred review Booklist
"Tightly focused, realistic tale—bladed with a hint of fairy-tale darkness.... Stories about the importance of stories...don’t come much more forthright and affecting than this one."
Shelf Awareness, starred review - Jennifer M. Brown
*"It's as psychologically haunting as the ghost girl's physical haunting....Black begins with an ordinary experience of childhood and gives it a wicked twist to reveal the truth at the center of the impulse for storytelling."
New York Times Book Review - Lauren Oliver
"For the 10-12 year-old reader...Doll Bones may be perfect....It’s a deep, strange and compelling book, at times lovely, at times heartbreaking and deliciously weird.”
The Wall Street Journal
"[An] eerie, tender novel".
Horn Book
"Black poignantly and realistically captures how adolescence inherently brings change; how growing up affects the ways children play; and the inevitable tests friendships face."
starred review BCCB
*"Black manages a careful balancing act of reality and fantasy, using the effectively creepy ghost story as the backdrop to a poignant exploration of what is lost along the way to adulthood...Keenly felt."
The Washington Post
"Compelling, chill-at-the-nape tale with dynamics and emotional depth... The novel’s eerie vibe and eek-worthy plot may keep readers turning pages into the wee hours, but it’s the vivid characters and skillfully developed themes of identity, friendship and loss that linger long in the mind."
Jeff Kinney
"Nobody does spooky like Holly Black. Doll Bones is a book that will make you sleep with the lights on."
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—At 12 years old, lifelong friends Zach, Poppy, and Alice are ferociously clinging to their childhoods. Using old Barbies, pirate action figures, dolls from Good Will, and their imaginations, they have created an exciting world of characters in an elaborate game. Figuring heavily in their plotline is the Queen, an antique doll of bone china that belongs to Poppy's mother and is strictly off-limits to the kids. She's also incredibly creepy. When Zach's dad throws away his action figures, the boy is so devastated that he ends the game abruptly, leaving the girls hurt and confused. Shortly thereafter, Poppy reveals that the Queen is made of the bones of a dead girl named Eleanor who has been communicating with her at night. The doll appears to be filled with Eleanor's ashes, and she has promised Poppy that she will make their lives miserable if they don't journey to Ohio, find her grave, and bury her properly. After much persuading, Zach and Alice agree to the journey. The Queen gets scarier and scarier as unexplained events begin to occur along the way. Black has created protagonists who readers will care about, and amusing secondary characters, like a pink-haired librarian and a crazy bus passenger who seems to be able to see Eleanor. This novel is a chilling ghost story, a gripping adventure, and a heartwarming look at the often-painful pull of adulthood. Black-and-white illustrations actually tone down the scare factor a little, making this a perfect starter story for budding horror fans.—Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416963981
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 19,303
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Holly Black

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. She lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door. Visit her at BlackHolly.com.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • 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

    16 out of 19 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 9 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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 3 people found this review helpful.

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

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

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Kd

    I love this book

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Lovely pandas

    Sure you should read it.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 19, 2013

    Great read

    :)

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Hells yea

    Reed!

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Aaggdg

    It sounds very good

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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

    1 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 25, 2014

    Great story

    Husterucal scarya

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

    Posted December 15, 2014

    Awesome

    I love it!!!!!!!!

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

    Posted December 5, 2014

    Showgirl

    Whats the age level?

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

    Posted December 3, 2014

    HANNAH PLOURDE

    Doll bons is the worst book ever

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

    Posted October 26, 2014

    Love it

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

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

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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)