Doll Bones

written by Holly Black

Ages: 9-12 years (roughly grades 4-8)

Best friends Zach, Alice, and Poppy are adventurers at heart. They meet up after school every day that Zach doesn’t have basketball practice to write new and exciting stories for their doll characters, all of whom are under the harsh rule of Poppy’s mother’s very expensive, off-limits, bone china doll the friends call the Great Queen. Amidst a misunderstanding between the friends that pauses their make-believe adventures, Poppy begins dreaming about the Great Queen. After learning about the doll’s haunted existence, the three friends begin their last and greatest adventure… only this one is not make believe!

The Great Queen has always made the friends feel uneasy, and Poppy’s dreams expose that the doll is made of not just any kind of bone china, but bone china using the bones of a human girl who died under mysterious circumstances and whose father wanted to keep her as close as he could after her death. In order for the Great Queen to stop haunting Poppy and leave the friends in peace, the doll and the cremated remains inside of her need to be reunited with her father’s grave – three states away. On their journey, Alice and Zach begin to share Poppy’s haunted dreams, adults around them speak to the group as if there are four children instead of three and a doll, and the doll has the uncanny ability to not stay where the children leave her when they go to sleep for the night…

A thrilling mystery/adventure, Doll Bones is a 2014 Newbery Honor book best suited for children ages 9-12 years (roughly grades 4 – 8) who may have enjoyed R. L. Stein’s Goosebumps series, or who enjoy all things spooky and creeptastic. Consider yourself warned, this one may keep wary and timid ones awake at night!

Find a preview of the first chapter at Holly Black’s website.

Find Doll Bones as a book or audiobook in our catalog.

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