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Doll Bones (Reprint) (Paperback)

Walmart # 569256162
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Customer Review Snapshot

4 out of 5 stars
62 total reviews
5 stars
21
4 stars
24
3 stars
15
2 stars
2
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing an imaginative adventure game with dolls and action figures for a long time. In the back of his mind, Zach knows that the game can't go on forever, and now that they're in middle school, he really doesn't want his school friends to know that he still plays with dolls -- but he also doesn't want the game to end. But when Zach's father throws away Zach's bag of action figures in an attempt to get him to grow up, Zach calls an end to the game rather than admit that his characters are gone. Poppy, in a desperate attempt to keep the game going, convinces Zach and Alice to accompany her on one final quest. You see, the Great Queen, an antique bone china doll, has always ruled over the game from afar. Poppy claims to have seen the ghost of a girl who was murdered, whose bones were incorporated into the china that became the Great Queen and whose ashes serve as stuffing. Now, Poppy says, the girl wants to be laid to rest. To do so, the friends must take a bus to the town where the doll was created and find the cemetery where the girl is supposed to be buried. At first, Zach is skeptical . . . but strange things start to happen when the doll is with them. Is the girl's ghost really haunting the three friends, and if so, will burying the doll in the girl's grave put her spirit to rest? This is a fantastic and well-written story, and definitely worth reading. It was not, however, as scary as I had been led to expect. It's entirely appropriate for the middle-grade readers that are its intended audience, which is a testimony to Holly Black's writing skill, since she often writes darker young adult fiction. I didn't expect young adult-level horror, but I think I was anticipating a somewhat better written version of R.L. Stine. This book has some decidedly creepy moments, particularly toward the end of the book, but it is really more about the themes of friendship, imagination, and growing up than about haunted dolls. And the kids spend a night in a library during their quest, which is always a bonus for librarian readers! Recommended.

About This Item

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Previously published in hardcover: 2013. 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 People Magazine “Best New Kids Book.” Six starred reviews!

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 five Best Book lists, and was called “perfect” by The New York Times.

Specifications

Publisher
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
272
Author
Holly Black
ISBN-13
9781416963998
Publication Date
April, 2015
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
7.62 x 5.12 x 0.70 Inches
ISBN-10
1416963995

Customer Reviews

5 stars
21
4 stars
24
3 stars
15
2 stars
2
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
2 customers found this helpful
Zach, Poppy, and Alice...
Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing an imaginative adventure game with dolls and action figures for a long time. In the back of his mind, Zach knows that the game can't go on forever, and now that they're in middle school, he really doesn't want his school friends to know that he still plays with dolls -- but he also doesn't want the game to end. But when Zach's father throws away Zach's bag of action figures in an attempt to get him to grow up, Zach calls an end to the game rather than admit that his characters are gone. Poppy, in a desperate attempt to keep the game going, convinces Zach and Alice to accompany her on one final quest. You see, the Great Queen, an antique bone china doll, has always ruled over the game from afar. Poppy claims to have seen the ghost of a girl who was murdered, whose bones were incorporated into the china that became the Great Queen and whose ashes serve as stuffing. Now, Poppy says, the girl wants to be laid to rest. To do so, the friends must take a bus to the town where the doll was created and find the cemetery where the girl is supposed to be buried. At first, Zach is skeptical . . . but strange things start to happen when the doll is with them. Is the girl's ghost really haunting the three friends, and if so, will burying the doll in the girl's grave put her spirit to rest? This is a fantastic and well-written story, and definitely worth reading. It was not, however, as scary as I had been led to expect. It's entirely appropriate for the middle-grade readers that are its intended audience, which is a testimony to Holly Black's writing skill, since she often writes darker young adult fiction. I didn't expect young adult-level horror, but I think I was anticipating a somewhat better written version of R.L. Stine. This book has some decidedly creepy moments, particularly toward the end of the book, but it is really more about the themes of friendship, imagination, and growing up than about haunted dolls. And the kids spend a night in a library during their quest, which is always a bonus for librarian readers! Recommended.
Most helpful negative review
Due to copy and paste,...
Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost. 2.5 Stars Doll Bones was something I just picked up. I had no prior interest in it, and honestly, I don't particularly have any interest in it now. My only real interest in it was the scare factor. How scary could a MG book be? But then I started it. And realized, that, well, yes, as expected, it wasn't that scary. But first, let's get this out of the way-- I am deathly afraid of some of those porcelain dolls. They just freak me out, and that being said, well, this one didn't. Ouch, that's pretty sad. The doll's story was actually fairly mediocre. That may have just been because I was expecting to have the wits scared out of me, but I can't discount the fact that it just wasn't scary. But I need to move on. I don't very often read books with male narrators, so Doll Bones was unique in that way. Zach was kind of a funny kid, but the more I read from his point of view, the more I realized...he's like twelve. Maybe 13, and they're playing with "dolls"? That was a slight character flaw in itself. I mean, I realize that some people are more mature than others, but does a twelve year old boy really play with dolls? Not in this day and age. You'd be lucky to find a twelve year old that hasn't already had a girlfriend. But aside from that, I did enjoy Zach and his friends, Alice and Poppy. Their adventure was awesome, and I liked the way that they were around each other. They were just simply friends. All in all, Doll Bones was neither creepy enough, mature enough or interesting enough to have me hooked, but it was an okay read.
Most helpful positive review
2 customers found this helpful
Zach, Poppy, and Alice...
Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing an imaginative adventure game with dolls and action figures for a long time. In the back of his mind, Zach knows that the game can't go on forever, and now that they're in middle school, he really doesn't want his school friends to know that he still plays with dolls -- but he also doesn't want the game to end. But when Zach's father throws away Zach's bag of action figures in an attempt to get him to grow up, Zach calls an end to the game rather than admit that his characters are gone. Poppy, in a desperate attempt to keep the game going, convinces Zach and Alice to accompany her on one final quest. You see, the Great Queen, an antique bone china doll, has always ruled over the game from afar. Poppy claims to have seen the ghost of a girl who was murdered, whose bones were incorporated into the china that became the Great Queen and whose ashes serve as stuffing. Now, Poppy says, the girl wants to be laid to rest. To do so, the friends must take a bus to the town where the doll was created and find the cemetery where the girl is supposed to be buried. At first, Zach is skeptical . . . but strange things start to happen when the doll is with them. Is the girl's ghost really haunting the three friends, and if so, will burying the doll in the girl's grave put her spirit to rest? This is a fantastic and well-written story, and definitely worth reading. It was not, however, as scary as I had been led to expect. It's entirely appropriate for the middle-grade readers that are its intended audience, which is a testimony to Holly Black's writing skill, since she often writes darker young adult fiction. I didn't expect young adult-level horror, but I think I was anticipating a somewhat better written version of R.L. Stine. This book has some decidedly creepy moments, particularly toward the end of the book, but it is really more about the themes of friendship, imagination, and growing up than about haunted dolls. And the kids spend a night in a library during their quest, which is always a bonus for librarian readers! Recommended.
Most helpful negative review
Due to copy and paste,...
Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost. 2.5 Stars Doll Bones was something I just picked up. I had no prior interest in it, and honestly, I don't particularly have any interest in it now. My only real interest in it was the scare factor. How scary could a MG book be? But then I started it. And realized, that, well, yes, as expected, it wasn't that scary. But first, let's get this out of the way-- I am deathly afraid of some of those porcelain dolls. They just freak me out, and that being said, well, this one didn't. Ouch, that's pretty sad. The doll's story was actually fairly mediocre. That may have just been because I was expecting to have the wits scared out of me, but I can't discount the fact that it just wasn't scary. But I need to move on. I don't very often read books with male narrators, so Doll Bones was unique in that way. Zach was kind of a funny kid, but the more I read from his point of view, the more I realized...he's like twelve. Maybe 13, and they're playing with "dolls"? That was a slight character flaw in itself. I mean, I realize that some people are more mature than others, but does a twelve year old boy really play with dolls? Not in this day and age. You'd be lucky to find a twelve year old that hasn't already had a girlfriend. But aside from that, I did enjoy Zach and his friends, Alice and Poppy. Their adventure was awesome, and I liked the way that they were around each other. They were just simply friends. All in all, Doll Bones was neither creepy enough, mature enough or interesting enough to have me hooked, but it was an okay read.
1-5 of 62 reviews

Is the ghost real? Or ...

Is the ghost real? Or is it a children's fantasy game? This coming-of-age quest reminds me of The Turn of the Screw. All right, it's not entirely Jamesian - certainly not as long a read as the typical Jamesian work - but there's that ambiguity that I find so wonderful in ghost stories like The Turn of the Screw or Shirley Jackson's "The Daemon Lover." Here, though, it's not a question of ghostly apparition versus a character's psychotic imaginings but of ghostly possession of a doll versus a twelve-year-old girl's imaginings prompted by her desire to maintain an unchanging friendship with her two best friends. It's this ambiguity - is the Doll Queen really possessed or is it just Poppy's imaginings which spur Zach and Alice to join her in the quest - that provides the heart of the coming-of-age story as the three twelve-year-olds can come to the end of their quest only by telling each other some very simple truths about themselves.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice...

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing an imaginative adventure game with dolls and action figures for a long time. In the back of his mind, Zach knows that the game can't go on forever, and now that they're in middle school, he really doesn't want his school friends to know that he still plays with dolls -- but he also doesn't want the game to end. But when Zach's father throws away Zach's bag of action figures in an attempt to get him to grow up, Zach calls an end to the game rather than admit that his characters are gone. Poppy, in a desperate attempt to keep the game going, convinces Zach and Alice to accompany her on one final quest. You see, the Great Queen, an antique bone china doll, has always ruled over the game from afar. Poppy claims to have seen the ghost of a girl who was murdered, whose bones were incorporated into the china that became the Great Queen and whose ashes serve as stuffing. Now, Poppy says, the girl wants to be laid to rest. To do so, the friends must take a bus to the town where the doll was created and find the cemetery where the girl is supposed to be buried. At first, Zach is skeptical . . . but strange things start to happen when the doll is with them. Is the girl's ghost really haunting the three friends, and if so, will burying the doll in the girl's grave put her spirit to rest? This is a fantastic and well-written story, and definitely worth reading. It was not, however, as scary as I had been led to expect. It's entirely appropriate for the middle-grade readers that are its intended audience, which is a testimony to Holly Black's writing skill, since she often writes darker young adult fiction. I didn't expect young adult-level horror, but I think I was anticipating a somewhat better written version of R.L. Stine. This book has some decidedly creepy moments, particularly toward the end of the book, but it is really more about the themes of friendship, imagination, and growing up than about haunted dolls. And the kids spend a night in a library during their quest, which is always a bonus for librarian readers! Recommended.

Diese und weitere Reze...

Diese und weitere Rezensionen findet ihr auf meinem Blog Anima Libri - Buchseele Ich bin ein riesiger Fan von Holly Black und ihren Büchern, seit ich vor Jahren ihre "Elfentochter" Bücher gelesen habe. Allerdings habe ich bislang nur ihre Jugendbücher gelesen, nie aber "Die Spiderwick Geheimnisse", die sich ja doch an jüngere Leser richten, als z.B. "Elfentochter" oder "Weißer Fluch" und die jeweiligen Fortsetzungen. Da es aber gerade "Die Spiderwick Geheimnisse" sind, für die die Autorin wohl am bekanntesten ist, war ich dann doch neugierig auch einmal eins ihrer Kinderbücher zu lesen und habe mich dementsprechend auf "Die Puppenkönigin" gefreut. Und wurde nicht enttäuscht."Die Puppenkönigin: Das Geheimnis eines Sommers" ist ein wahnsinnig tolles Buch, das mich vor allem dadurch begeistert hat, dass die Autorin eine ganz besondere Atmosphäre schafft, durch die die Geschichte gleichzeitig schaurig und niedlich ist. Dabei wird die Geschichte aber weder zuckersüß und kitschig noch zu gruselig, sondern bleibt immer in einem Bereich, in dem sie zwar auch erwachsene Leser anspricht aber eben auch immer kindgerecht und für die eigentliche Zielgruppe geeignet ist.So ist die Geschichte hinter dem Cover, das ich zwar schön aber weit weniger passend als das Original finde, dann auch dementsprechend zwar gruselig - immerhin geht es um eine Puppe, die aus den sterblichen Überresten eines jungen Mädchens gemacht wurde und nun die drei Freunde Zach, Poppy und Alice heimsucht - aber sie überschreitet nie die Grenze hin zum Alptraumhaften oder Abartigen. Der "Gruselfaktor" der Geschichte macht dem Ausdruck 'schaurig-schön' daher auch alle Ehre ohne wirklich angsteinflößend zu sein. Denn das Buch ist vor allem eins: Spannend.Das liegt hauptsächlich an dem Freunde-Trio, das hier von Holly Black ins Leben gerufen wird. Die drei sind ganz unterschiedliche Charaktere, jeder mit eigenen Schwächen und Stärken, aber jeder auf seine Art liebenswert und sehr realistisch. Vor allem wirken sie tatsächlich wie zwölf, nicht zu kindlich, aber auch noch nicht zu jugendlich, sondern eben genau richtig und dadurch absolut überzeugend - auf Leser, die selbst in diesem Alter sind wahrscheinlich sogar noch mehr als auf ältere Leser. Dadurch macht es wahnsinnigen Spaß, sich auf die Geschichte der drei einzulassen und mit ihnen in die Welt der besessenen Geisterpuppen einzutauchen.Auch der Schreibstil der Autorin trägt einiges dazu bei, dass das Buch schnell und spannend zu lesen ist. Er ist leicht verständlich und sehr flüssig zu lesen, und auch hier schafft Holly Black es wieder sich genau auf ihr Zielpublikum einzulassen. Der Schreibstil ist zwar simpel genug, dass auch die 10-Jährigen, an die sich das Buch laut deutschem Verlag richtet, die Handlung ohne Probleme verstehen, aber gleichzeitig auch anspruchsvoll genug, dass diese sich nicht unterforderd fühlen werden bzw. das Buch auch älteren Lesern ein paar spannende und unterhaltsame Stunden bietet.Alles in allem ist "Die Puppenkönigin: Das Geheimnis eines Sommers" von Holly Black ein wundervolles Buch, dass mir sehr großen Spaß bereitet hat und das ich allen kleinen und großen Leseratten, die auf schaurig-schöne Leseabenteuer stehen, ans Herz legen möchte.

Zachary, Alice, and Po...

Zachary, Alice, and Poppy are three best friends that have long been involved in The Game, an immersive fantasy world where their various toys are actually characters in an elaborate and ever-evolving story. Their game does not involve a playing board or set of dice, but is all a product of their imaginations, which means it can be done anywhere and at any time. However, the trio are getting older, and playing epic quests with toys is starting to become more difficult. Peer pressure and hormones are coming into play. To make things worse, Zachary's dad has recently moved back in with the family, and is trying to reconnect by asserting himself as a father figure. This results in his throwing out all of Zach's toys while Zach is at school, deeming them too babyish and likely to get him teased. Some of those figurines, though, were the characters that Zach played with as his main characters in The Game. Torn by a whirlwind of conflicting emotions - rage at his father, embarrassment when wondering what his basketball friends would say, and a suspicion that maybe he was being too childish after all - Zach doesn't know what to do. Rather than have to explain all of this, and bring up problematic relationship with father, he decides not to tell Poppy and Alice what actually happened. Instead, he says that he thinks The Game is silly and he has outgrown it, and he doesn't want to play any more. Needless to say, both girls are incredibly hurt. Not only do they want Zach to continue playing with them, but they take his words as an indirect insult against them, that they are playing childish games, and think that he might just be saying that he no longer wants to be their friend. Alice backs off because of her injured feelings, but Poppy, following her aggressive nature, keeps picking at it, pushing Zach to act colder and meaner than he intended. When it seems that the trio are heading to certain break up, Poppy approaches Zach with an odd story: she thinks her doll is possessed by a ghost named Eleanor and is communicating with her. At first, Zach ignores Poppy's story. He thinks she is making one last, far-fetched attempt to get him back into The Game. Because the doll is an integral part of their fantasy world: she is the Great Queen, the ruler who runs all of the activities in the made-up land they created. The doll actually belongs to Poppy's mom, and is a delicate, antique toy that is kept secure behind glass. She is like the supreme being of their world. It is not surprising, then, that Zack thinks Poppy is just employing her typical dramatic flair to affect a reconciliation. However, when quiet and more serious Alice tells him that she is on board, Zach agrees to Poppy's plan. Which is that the three of them take the doll to find Eleanor's grave, allowing her to finally be at peace. Of course, the grave isn't in their city, so the three preteen children will have to sneak out, disobey their parents, and steal the doll to make it happen. Considering that all three of them have some unresolved issues with their families - Zach is still mad at his dad and not willing to let him back into his life, Alice is bridling under the strict and overprotective care of her grandmother, and Poppy isn't too happy with her parents hardly being around and leaving their large gang of children to fend for themselves - more issues than the dolls haunting are at stake. They take a bus out of town in the middle of the night, and experience plenty of strange and sometimes unsettling events that make them feel they are on a real-life adventure. A strange man on the bus talks about aliens changing people's faces, one night their campsite is trashed and it seems that only Eleanor (the doll) could have done it, Zach and Poppy keep having strange dreams that seem to be about Eleanor's past life, and they even borrow a boat one day to try to travel more quickly. Eventually they do make it to their desired location, only to realize that resolving Eleanor's problem isn't their only mission on this quest - they also need to make some decisions about their own families and lives. Holly Black creates some amazing fantasy work, and one of my favorite things about reading her stories is she makes the lives and families of her human characters just as important as the fantasy elements they encounter. In fact, in every story I have read by her, the personal inner issues that the central characters are struggling with become entwined with the fantasy adventure that is simultaneously occurring. In this case, the three main characters are not just helping a ghost possessed doll, they are also running away from issues with their families and with their friendship with each other, and their quest for Eleanor forces them to face those realities, as well. That is some great characterization. The author knows how to write fantasy that has heart, depth, and complexity. Another wonderful feature of this particular story is the ambiguity surrounding Eleanor.

Short quick read. Very...

Short quick read. Very spooky! I thought this would be a fun book to read as I get ready for October and it sure did set the mood. Well written with some light humor and enjoyable characters. I would recommend this title to elementary kids and parents wanting to read a good book with their child.

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1. Yes, this is a hardcover book.
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Electrode, Comp-389266853, DC-prod-cdc02, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3-ebf-2, SHA-8c8e8dc1c07e462c80c1b82096c2da2858100078, CID-5735e25b-9bd-16ee268f4069a2, Generated: Sat, 07 Dec 2019 22:09:19 GMT