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Cover image for Doll bones
Format:
Title:
Doll bones
Oregon 'Battle of the Books':
2018-2019 ; 6th-8th division.
ISBN:
9781416963981

9781416963998

9780552568111

9780545766029
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication:
New York, New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, [2013]
Physical Description:
244 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.
Reading Level:
Ages 10-14.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 5.4.

Reading Counts! 5.5.

Accelerated Reader AR 5.4 7.0 158353.
Holds:

Available:*

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J BLACK, H.
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JUV FIC Black
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Black
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J FIC BLACK 2013
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J FICTION BLACK
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TEEN BLACK
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J Black, H.
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TEEN Black, H.
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YA Black, H.
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Black
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On Order

Summary

Summary

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 .


Author Notes

Holly Black was born in West Long Branch, New Jersey on November 10, 1971. She graduated with a B.A. in English from The College of New Jersey in 1994.

Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale was published in 2002 and was included in the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults. Her other works include The Spiderwick Chronicles written with Tony DiTerlizzi, Ironside, Poison Eaters and Other Stories, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Iron Trial (Magisteruim Book 1) and The Copper Gauntlet (Magisteruim Book 2) written with Cassandra Clare, and The Darkest Part of the Forest. Valiant won the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. She also won the Young-Adult Prize in the Indies Choice Book Awards 2015 for The Darkest Part of the Forest.

Black and Clare's Magisterium Series has received both critical and popular acclaim appearing on numerous bestseller lists including The New York Times bestseller list in the Young Adult category.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Black's tale (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013) of friendship and the trials of growing up is set against the backdrop of a spooky ghost story. Zach Barlow loves to make things up. He and his friends Poppy and Alice spend every afternoon concocting new adventures for their dolls and action figures. However, Zach's recently returned father is less than thrilled about his son spending his time playing with dolls instead of taking part in more age-appropriate activities, such as basketball. When he commits a drastic act to force Zach to give up his play-acting, it precipitates a series of events that send Zach, Poppy, and Alice on a midnight quest to lay to rest the soul of a murdered girl, a soul that now inhabits a bone china doll. Along the way, the trio uncovers secrets about the past and one another, and discovers that they are capable of more than they ever realized. Nick Podehl expertly voices the three friends as well as the unforgettable characters Tin-Shoe Joe and the pink-haired librarian, Miss Katherine. Black has written an adventurous ghost tale that fans of Mary Downing Hahn and Peg Kehret and devotees of the author's previous novels will love.-Michaela Schied, formerly, Indian River Middle School, Philadelphia, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

When Zach's father insists that the games he-and friends Poppy and Alice-play with dolls must end, the three friends refuse to let their imaginations die. Instead, they set out on an epic adventure involving a china doll that just might be made from the bones of a murdered girl. And along the way, they discover that there could be more to what was once a simple backyard game. Narrator Nick Podehl delivers a fun-filled reading that will delight this audiobook's young-adult target audience. Podhel delivery is simple, his pacing steady, and his performance one that skillfully captures all the action of this imaginative tale. Ages 10-14. A Margaret K. McElderry paperback. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Twelve-year-old Zach and his longtime friends Poppy and Alice have created an elaborate, ongoing imaginative game they act out with their dolls and action figures. When his dad throws away Zach's figurines ("it's time you grew up"), the distraught boy abandons the game with little explanation to the others ("you can't play pretend forever"). Poppy attempts to lure him back with the game's all-powerful Great Queen, a bone-china doll so precious that Poppy's mother keeps it in a locked cabinet. Poppy takes the queen, only to be haunted in her dreams by the ghost of a girl whose ashes are inside the doll. The ghost won't rest until she has been properly buried, so Poppy persuades Alice and Zach to journey with her to the girl's gravesite. The impromptu trip includes a scary bus ride, eerie supernatural encounters, and an action-packed sailboat voyage, all of which provide ample thrills for readers, with Wheeler's pencil illustrations softening spooky aspects of the adventure. The narrative is uneven: while the doll is believably creepy, the horror elements and the ghost story remain underdeveloped, as do Poppy and Alice's characters, and the resolution is rather abrupt. But through Zach's complex perspective, author Black poignantly and realistically captures how adolescence inherently brings change; how growing up affects the ways children play; and the inevitable tests friendships face. cynthia k. ritter (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

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)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* A trio of adolescents goes on a quest to satisfy the demands of a ghost. Sounds like standard middle-grade fare, but in Black's absolutely assured hands, it is anything but. Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing the same make-believe game for years, one involving pirates and mermaids and, of course, the Great Queen a creepy, bone-china doll at Poppy's house. Then Poppy reveals that she's been haunted by a girl whose ground-up bones lie inside the Great Queen, so the doll must be properly buried. Begrudgingly, the three agree to play one last game and hope against hope for a real adventure, the kind that changed you. With heart-wrenching swiftness, Black paints a picture of friends at the precipice of adulthood; they can sense the tentative peace of youth that is about to be demolished. The tightly focused, realistic tale bladed with a hint of fairy-tale darkness feels cut from the very soul of youth: there is no sentimentality, no cuteness, only the painful, contradictory longing to move forward in one's life without leaving anything behind. Stories about the importance of stories ( Maybe no stories were lies, thinks Zach) don't come much more forthright and affecting than this one. Wheeler's sketches ameliorate some of the tension and dread not a bad thing. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Black's best-selling Spiderwick Chronicles pave the way for this powerful stand-alone, which comes with an author tour, in-theater promos, and more.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

IN Holly Black's newest middle-grade novel, "Doll Bones," the main characters, Zach, Poppy and Alice, are at that intermediate stage between childhood and adolescence, when alliances shift and friendships subtly develop into something more, when children outgrow identities as quickly as they outgrow clothing, when boys and girls sometimes appear awkwardly patched together with emotional and physical features from various stages of development, like an evolutionary experiment gone haywire. For years, the three best friends have played a continuous, ever evolving game of make-believe embracing fictional kingdoms, characters and allegiances, using toy figurines and hastily assembled objects to stand in for the real thing. The Queen, a porcelain doll with vacant eyes and blond ringlet curls, presides over the kingdoms from her position in Poppy's mom's glassed-in cabinet. But now, things are changing. Zach joins the basketball team. Alice has a secret. And Poppy is desperate for the game to go on, unchanged and unchanging. After Zach abruptly announces he doesn't want to play anymore - a mixture of pride, humiliation and anger won't let him confess to the real reason for his change-of-heart - Poppy summons her friends in the middle of the night and declares that there is one final component of the game. The Queen has come to her in a dream and revealed a terrible truth: the spirit of a little girl is trapped inside the doll's body, and now Poppy, Alice and Zach must embark on a journey to put her to rest. What follows has the cadence of a classic quest story, mixed with a shivery dose of the supernatural. The children confront villainous adults (a leering homeless man on the bus who warns them of aliens who might steal their faces; suspicious bus station employees; a well-meaning librarian who nonetheless tries to end their quest), endure mishaps and misfortunes, and engineer breathless escapes by boat and bicycle. "Doll Bones," the latest of Black's books to meld the real, the gothic and the paranormal (she was a co-author of the best-selling series "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and has written several popular books for young adults as well, including "Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale"), doesn't always flow or keep pace with its ambitions. Like the main characters, suspended between childhood and what comes afterward, the narrative sometimes feels unmoored, an uneasy mixture of ghost- and adventure- and coming-of-age story whose themes, and even intended audience, are occasionally muddled. The book, meant for ages 10 to 14, is almost certainly too frightening for readers younger than that, as the porcelain Queen, whose will the characters must obey, is made from the pulverized ash and bones of a little girl cremated by her potter father. But some of the characters' attitudes, in particular their obsession with dolls, play and make-believe, might similarly leave cold the older middle-grade readers, as they oscillate between innocence and exhausted cynicism, prone to mood swings and lightning quick changes of temperament. Of course, that's precisely how children are at that age. And 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. Lauren Oliver is the author of the Delirium trilogy and of the middle-grade novels "Liesl and Po" and "The Spindlers."