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Desktop8Author: Holly Black | Website
Release Date:  May 7th, 2013|
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal| Pages: 244

This just happened to be one of those new books that caught my eye from my library’s MG section. Now, being the fan that I am of The Spiderwick Chronicles, I have to admit that I’ve never read anything else by either authors. But let me tell you–that Holly Black can write! I love, love, loved this book. It’s not even close to ghoulishly Halloween time, but you MUST go out and read this book.

I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. I was not compensated in any way for my review (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.


Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends for as long as they can remember. Part of that reason is because they’ve been playing an ever-changing, always going game–one that takes place in a world of pirates and mermaids, warriors and thieves. And the ruler over their world is the Great Queen herself, a bone china doll imprisoned in a cabinet willing to curse anyone who crosses her path.

But when Zach’s father gives him no choice but to give up his make-believe, the three friends might just end up going separate ways. That is until Poppy opens up about the dreams she’s been having–dreams about the Queen, and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the three take the bone china doll to an empty grave.

5 Reasons Why This Book is Marvelous!

  1. I absolutely love all things creepy. I mean, I did go through a huge phase where Goosebumps, witches, ghosts, and goblins fulfilled my reading habit.  Nowadays though, I refuse to go to scary movies, and sometimes hate being home by myself in the dark. But let me tell you, Doll Bones and all of it’s spookiness was fabulous! It’s one of those books where magic is intertwined with story so that middle grade readers won’t walk away scared. I mean, my Mom had a thing where she didn’t like me reading Goosebumps because they gave me nightmares, and even though Poppy has some pretty crazy dreams, I don’t think MG readers will be too scared. Simply curious.
  2. Black has this way with writing a would be scary story that in fact leaves readers intrigued and entertained rather than scared stiff. Creeped out by a bone china doll, yes, but come on, they are scary anyway! I found her storytelling memorizing, and so wonderfully written that I never wanted to put the story down. I wanted to be on this quest with Zach, Alice, and Poppy.
  3. Which is another fabulous part of the book–this is definitely somewhat of a swashbuckling adventure. The three friends have this awesome make-believe game going on (which is actually like a story within a story!) and there are pirates, and thieves, and ships! But then–it’s almost as if the story itself bleeds into their real lives! I won’t give anything away, but there are definitely pirate moments in this book!
  4. Zach, Alice, & Poppy–three fabulous kids that you will love from the very beginning. They are all twelve years old, which I think it s a magical age anyway. They are beginning to grow up–which Zach’s dad sort of forces on him–but at the same time, their imaginations are wild and active and so much wanting to be kids. I enjoyed how the three of them played so well together, and that no matter how difficult or weird their quest became, they stuck with each other. There is such an underlying story of friendship and trust and love rooted in this adventure, that I’m beginning to think quests do indeed bring out the best of everyone.
  5. Finally, I know I repeat myself sometimes, but I just loved the aura of this story. There’s a creep factor, and ghosts, and weird dreams of dead girls–but the element of magic and fantasy and adventure keeps this story from being to scary for middle graders. Some readers might find the spook factor a reason to leave the light on at night, but I’m pretty sure all readers will find this story full of heart and not be able to put it down.
  6. must-readBook Talk: Have you read Doll Bones yet? What did you think? Too spooky or just perfect?

Hopeful reading!