Doll Bones

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
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

Jeff Kinney
"Nobody does spooky like Holly Black. Doll Bones is a book that will make you sleep with the lights on."
The Wall Street Journal
"[An] eerie, tender novel".
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."
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 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."
Rebecca Stead
"A little bit scary and full of heart, this story grabbed me and wouldn't let go."
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.”
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 - 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…
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.
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)
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."
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."
Rebecca Stead
"A little bit scary and full of heart, this story grabbed me and wouldn't let go."
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".

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."
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."
Jeff Kinney
"Nobody does spooky like Holly Black. Doll Bones is a book that will make you sleep with the lights on."
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
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
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)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416963998
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 4/14/2015
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 489,132
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years

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

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