➶ [Reading] ➸ Doll Bones By Holly Black ➫ – Golanvideoagency.info

Doll Bones Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing make believe for as long as they ve been friends With pirates and mermaids, thieves and warriors, their imaginary realm is ruled by the Great Queen, a bone china doll Poppy s mom keeps locked in a cabinet When their dreams reveal the bone china doll is haunted by a girl who longs to be buried with her deceased family, Zach, Poppy, and Alice set off on a real adventure to lay the girl to rest Doll Bones doesn t shy away from the macabre and there are quite a few instances where the spook factor is employed to great effect Poppy carefully took the bone china doll from her backpack Zach drew his breath and went silent The doll s dull black eyes were open, her gaze boring into his own He d always thought she was creepy looking, but in the reflected beam of the flashlight, she seemed demonic. The problem with Doll Bones is that it flounders in its identity It reads as though the author had two separate stories in mind, which she wrote and then merged together with clunky stitching.It s Poppy who drives the story, though she s not the primary protagonist She s the first character to dream about the china doll s pastDid you know that bone china has real bones in it Poppy said, tapping a porcelain cheek Her clay was made from human bones Little girl bones That hair threaded through the scalp is the little girl s hair And the body of the doll is filled with her leftover ashesPoppy is also the instigator of the grand adventure, one that was doomed to fail from the start Along the way they break into a building and steal from multiple people, always justifying their actions by saying they ll return the items when they re done They suffer no consequences for these reprehensible actions a terrible message to promote to impressionable young readers Though Poppy is the device used to propel the story, Zach is the protagonist Doll Bones is a coming of age story Zach s rocky relationship with his father, his desire to play with action figure toys as a pre teen, and his budding interest in girls are explored amidst the journey to deliver the doll to her final resting place These dual stories overlap in an awkward, forced manner Poppy drives the story, because it s ultimately her desire to lay the doll to rest Zachor less tags along and just happens to hit puberty along the way Doll Bones is a coming of age story shoved into the tale of a haunted doll The book s macabre foundation and spooky interludes aren t enough to make up for its disjointed approach to storytelling. Zach, Poppy And Alice Have Been Friends For Ever They Love Playing With Their Action Figure Toys, Imagining A Magical World Of Adventure And Heroism But Disaster Strikes When, Without Warning, Zach S Father Throws Out All His Toys, Declaring He S Too Old For Them Zach Is Furious, Confused And Embarrassed, Deciding That The Only Way To Cope Is To Stop Playing And Stop Being Friends With Poppy And Alice But One Night The Girls Pay Zach A Visit, And Tell Him About A Series Of Mysterious Occurrences Poppy Swears That She Is Now Being Haunted By A China Doll Who Claims That It Is Made From The Ground Up Bones Of A Murdered Girl They Must Return The Doll To Where The Girl Lived, And Bury It Otherwise The Three Children Will Be Cursed For Eternity I don t watch much horror in general I m what you might call a chicken When I do see it, though, I m not particularly disturbed by random splattering and gore The psychological stuff is farof a lure for me If I m going to be honest, though, one of the scariest things I ever saw was on the cheesiest of television shows It was this insider look into the world of ghosts and on the show we heard about a haunted home It was a well lit suburban house and we watched as a woman took off her shoes, walked over to the couch, and took a nap When she woke up, the shoes were next to her And that right there is what scares me half to death Which is probably why a book like Doll Bones by Holly Black works for me on a horror level Yet for all its creepy packaging, Black s latest hides at its heart a remarkable, thoughtful take on what it means to grow up and pass from childhood into adolescence Dark enough to attract fans of Goosebumps and the like yet able to make them actually think a bit about their own lives on a deeper level, Black strikes the perfect balance between the sensational and the smart By and large middle schoolers do not play with dolls But Zach, Poppy and Alice have been playing the game for years and it s only gotten better with time Using dolls of every type they spin wild tales and live out personalities different from their own That is, until Zach s dad throws out his toys in an effort to stop the game Ashamed, Zach lies to his friends that he no longer wants to play This act leads to unforeseen consequences when, in desperation, Poppy releases a bone china doll from her mother s cabinet, only to find herself haunted by the ghost of a long dead girl Inside the doll are ashes and if any of the three is to get any peace they will have to bury the doll in a specific grave If they succeed they ll have fulfilled their quest If they fail They may suffer worse than a ghost s wrath They might beordinary Essentially what you re dealing with here is what would happen if R.L Stine every wrote a Newbery quality horror book for kids And though it may not sound like it, this is high praise I ve always been fascinated with the nature of horror in books for children Kids adore being scared I recall well the adorable three year old who would return to my reference desk over and over again asking for scary books I d just hand him some very tame vampire or ghost fare and he d be happy as a clam The fascination fades for some, but for others it taps into the same instincts that drive adults to watch loads of horror films The trick to writing really good horror literature for kids is to strike the right balance between the creepy and the safe Go too far in one direction and you re no longer writing for children but for teens Go too far in the other direction and you re not creepy enough, the kids tossing you aside the minute you bore them Do not be mistaken Doll Bones isn t a chill a minute festival of screams It s smart and thoughtful and just happens to be about a doll constructed out of human marrow and stuffed to the brim with a little girl s ashes To my mind Doll Bones fits neatly into two distinct trends I ve picked up on in 2013 On the one hand, it s a book that doesn t give up its mystery readily You can read this book for a long time before figuring out whether or not the book really is a horror fantasy or if it s just an elaborate con by one of our heroes A book that is similar in its reluctance to give up the goods too soon is the remarkable science fiction mystery The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blake These authors appear to be inclined to believe that their readers will stick with their novels partly for the good writing and partly to see if the book lives up to the promises of its dust jacket and cover They aren t wrong The second trend in chapter books for the kiddos I ve notices is a prevalence of titles where characters must say goodbye to childish things The aforementioned Water Castle does this, and the new Jerry Spinelli Hokey Pokey does little else In Doll Bones, Black separates this book from being yet another average ghostly tale by giving it a tragic edge The tragedy is partly the characters , sometimes admittedly inane, inability to talk to one another honestly about what s going on in their lives It s also the tragedy of getting older and realizing that the friends you had as a kid may not be the friends you ll have as a teen What once you had in common with other people fades away in the face of looming adolescence a theme of the Frances O Roark Dowell book The Kind of Friends We Used to Be albeit with less sentient dolls All this talk of letting go of your youth and babyhood is told in the context of dolls The kids play with dolls and the storytelling relies on their physical presence So is storytelling itself childish to kids Playing pretend is, and Black has to provide her child readers with the question of whether creating stories is an act of adulthood or childhood Certainly Zach is good at it You can hear him standing in for millions of writers all over the world when it says, He liked the way the story unfolded as he wrote, liked the way the answers came to him sometimes, out of the blue, like they were true things just waiting to be discovered by him Transitioning from pretend to some kind of a creative output is often so difficult people will just abandon the act when they become teens You can feel Doll Bones fighting against this tendency In telling this tale Black holds herself back in a number of ways She never shows too much of her hand when recounting multiple creepy moments throughout the quest By the same token, she could easily have turned the kids fantasies with their dolls into separate narrative moments You could have begun the book with a rip roaring delve into the adventures of William the Blade and the hearty crew of the Neptune s Pearl and then revealed that it was all the fantasy of three tweens Instead, Black chooses to remain entirely in the real world The gift of this book is that it feels like it could happen to the kid reading it No one walks through a magic door into a strange land or encounters mystical creatures These three kids have to get, on their own, to a graveyard far away and they have to deal with some VERY realistic problems like weird strangers on buses, bus tickets in general, suspicious adults, and cell phones Black is to be commended for not ignoring their existence and instead weaving them skillfully into the plot This grounding in reality is what makes the horror that muchengaging It is interesting to note that as of this review Ms Holly Black is not a particularly well known name amongst the younger set of readers Years ago she helped Tony DiTerlizzi create the Spiderwick Chronicles and all the books in that series Kids these days don t remember Spiderwick all that well, though So while Ms Black continues to impress on the YA side of things, she hasn t connected with children in a while Happily, this solo outing does her proud She indulges in smart wordplay and strong good writing for much of the book I enjoyed lines like, Before Lady Jaye, Alice s favorite character had been a Barbie named Aurora who had been raised by a herd of carnivorous horses And the little details delight, like the fact that Zach s cat s name is The Party, or the fact that Poppy refers to her rear as her buttular region , or even the donut shop that has every possible donut flavor, from wasabi or acorn flour to Pop Rocks or spelt If the book has problems it probably has something to do with the suspension of disbelief The entire story tips on the fact that Zach refuses to tell either Alice or Poppy why he won t play the game anySo why exactly does he make everything so monumentally worse by not telling them what his father did to him For a long time this fact plays out as a convenient plot point and not a believable fact It isn t until you re at the tail end of the book that Zach s confession ripped away the fog of numbness and made him grieve Until that moment he claims he doesn t want to play the game because it s easier than admitting he never can again I buy it, but I didn t buy it for a very long time before that explanation Also unclear is the ghost doll It s hard to root for folks to help something malicious Was the doll evil and ghost good Were they one and the same or different All unclear It all comes down to something Poppy says near the end of the book She s upset that her friends are growing up and possibly apart from her So she gives voice to a fear that so many children feel but are unable to verbalize on their own I hate that you re going to leave me behind I hate that everyone calls it growing up, but it seems like dying It feels like each of you is being possessed and I m next Pair that line with one earlier concerning Zach He wondered whether growing up was learning that most stories turned out to be lies Doll Bones positions itself to look like a simple ghost tale about a creepy doll, then sneaks in an engaging, thoughtful look at the ramifications of adolescence and storytelling Consider this the thinking child s horror novel A devilishly clever read from an author too long gone from the children s book genre.For ages 9 12. I loved this book I was hesitant going in because it is a middle grade book I was pleasantly surprised This book pulled me in immediately The writing was amazing and I loved the illustrations Three friends play an imaginary game When Zach can no longer play, the game is over Until Poppy has a dream about the bone China doll that acts as the queen of their game Thus begins their quest and creeping happenings along the way This book was fun and the writing was perfect Recommend for everyone. Holly Black is one of few who can write something as cute as it is creepy Doll Bones is a Middle Grade novel that is full of adventure and friendship really the only type of MG books I read and enjoy It s the story of Zach, Poppy, and Alice who have been friends for such a long time that their friendship feels familiar even to us I immediately felt attuned to their mutual trust and support Not giving in when the other kids laughed at them for playing with action figures But then one day the game got a little bitreal, and it involves a creepy devil doll who is made of little girl bonesHer clay was made from human bones Little girl bones That hair threaded through the scalp is the little girl s hair And the body of the doll is filled with her leftover ashesshivers Obviously, there is a fantastic creepy factor to this book, mostly all due to this hell s creature doll, but the fact remains that it is an MG novel so it s the fun kind of creepy nothing to give you nightmares over, but still enough to appease the creep fanatics such as myself A lot of it is due to it being open to interpretation Did the doll really move itself during the night, or was it the animal who trashed their campsite This is why movies like The Blair Witch Project became so popular, or why most books are better than movies imagination can be most powerful Imagination is what s at the heart of this whole book it s what brought the friends together from day 1, and it s what turned this story into a fantasy adventure If imagination is at its heart, it s the friendship that keeps it beating These kids, determined and stubborn, go through a fair amount of difficulty to get to where they want to go and, even though there are many arguments and disagreements, they stick up and care for each other until the end The narrator being Zach, we re privy to what it s like to be a young, hurt, pre teenaged boy who wishes he could stay a kid for just a little while longer These kids are 12 year olds, thus are still in that imaginative stage without being too childish So we get a pretty balanced read with some dangerous happenings, a little thievery, risky antics, but it s all in good fun To keep things eveninteresting, aside from the doll we re kept from forgetting, we get a mysterious and quite disturbing story that surrounds the death of the girl whom she was created from or so we re told Delightfully sweet with a deliciously eerie vibe, Doll Bones is perfect for the young at hearts who like to plunge into a fun adventure that has all the innocence of a child s story, but the excellent storytelling any adult can enjoy An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.Forof my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads Find all of my reviews at I read Doll Bones a couple of weeks ago, but then life got in the way as it sometimes does and I didn t ever get around to writing a review BUUUUUUUUUT I remembered I had not yet reviewed it and made sure to do an auto renewal of my library book in order to save all the highlighting and notes about the story that were contained on my Kindle And then I received notice that my auto renewal failed, but the book was still available for me to re download without all of my noted info insert sad face Yeah, library, why Have I not cooperated with you and read a couple of seriously pukeable romance suggestions in order to pass your Winter Reading Challenge Why you gotta be so rude So yeah, this sucks and you re just going to have to believe me when I say if you have a young un I recommend this one this is noted as a middle grade story, but if your kid s reading level is high enough I d offer it up as a suggestion to the higher elementary grades as well Doll Bones is about three friends Zach, Poppy and Alice who have spent their childhood imagining a world of fantasy and adventure starring their action figures all of whom are overseen by the Queen The Queen is an antique doll who holds all the answers to where the adventures will lead the toys, but who is in a locked cabinet and therefor can never tell the trio her secrets When Zach s father decides Zach is too old to be playing make believe and throws away his old toys, Poppy breaks the Queen from her cabinet in hopes it will lure him back to the game What happens instead is Poppy finds herself haunted by the true story behind the bone china which created the doll and insists Alice and Zach help return the Queen to the cemetery where she was supposed to be buried If your kids are anything like mine and have enjoyed coming of age stories likeorThey should find Doll Bones an absorbingly quick read There s a good chance you parents might even like this one too Highly entertaining with just enough creepiness to add some thrills to the story, but not so much as to scare the pants off the little ones Who couldn t use a littleadventure in their life This reminds me a little of John Bellairs stories It is about kids with the unknown and supernatural stuff happening to them I enjoyed this read It was pure fun.Zac, Poppy and Alice use toys and action figures to make up stories It s really about the joy of imagination Well, Zac s dad doesn t get it an he throws all his toys away saying it s time to grow up So they think the game is over Poppy is having dreams about a very creepy doll that is supposedly made out of bones They then go on a quest of their childhood to break a curse It was fast paced and well written This is entertaining and there are plenty of chills to go around I m a fan. Do you live, read, and breathe stories Does the idea of causing trouble make you grin Do you believe in magic Then Holly Black s Doll Bones is the book for you The pull and power of a story on the page and off the cuff, free flowing narratives can hold the secrets of the world for me True magic can be found in a story I have always believed that and always will A belief that can t be taken away from us Right He wondered whether growing up was learning that most stories turned out to be lies Thrills, secrets, heartache, friendship, and the creepy, CREEPY stare of a doll s eyes all come together to form a reading adventure like no other Fun and spooky Sad and adorable A tale filled with imagination, heart, and story magic that cast a powerful spell over me My reading heart absolutely adored spending time in this book I actually ducked under the covers at one point Haha It just felt like the right place to be reading a swashbuckling fun filled feast of laughs, courage, and oh no she didn t tension At times I found myself reading out loud lines of pure magic that hit my heart with love and memories I love what this book pulled out of me.Our story revolves around three friends Poppy, Zach, and Alice Friends since they were little Spending time together improvising tales and characters that they act out and create A world shared between the three of them with pirates, thieves, dangers, and mystery But at 12 years old, the pressures of growing up are starting to intrude on their game and connection Is it time to let their story spinning adventures go Not if the Queen has anything to say about it Strange and spooky things begin to happen as soon as the bone china doll, known as The Queen in their game, is freed from her cabinet Dreams, dares, and determination propel this trio on a road tripping quest that will test their belief in magic, courage, and friendship So grab a flashlight This one is sure to give you chills I have to send huge love to Ms Black here HUGE love She captured that awkward and confusing time between childhood and teenager hood so perfectly At age 12, kids often feel like they have one foot in each world And whether we want to step over that line or not we all have to grow up Parents, friends, and doubt push and pull at Poppy, Zach, and Alice causing tension and friction But when these three are together, I can feel their friendship beating on the page I adored their energy together even when they fought Zach is adorable, tender hearted, and so hilarious I loved his voice He nearly broke my heart to bits Big, fat tears rolled down my cheeks for pages and pages Zach guides readers through this story, so we get to see his heart and head a bit easier than the girls Poppy s controlling, wacky ways and Alice s style of coming alive through her characters found a spot in my heart too But Zach was my favorite How can you not like a kid who once upon a time lived by the universally observed monster rules Come on You know the rules Haha named his cat The Party and packed orange soda, Twizzlers and a book on poisonous plants just in case for a quest D Zach is one giant heart squeeze after another But along with the power of friendship, Ms Black captured the magic of words, imagination, and sense of adventure on the page That thrill of staying up late Sneaking out Hiding in the shadows The fear of getting caught You will feel the adrenaline and fun run through your blood The night has always been my time I feelalive in the dark, so Ms Black spoke right to my heart There was a kind of quiet that hung over the world in the middle of the night, as though there was no one else awake anywhere It felt ripe with magic and endless possibility Okay Okay I m gushing I know I fell pretty hard for Holly Black s way with words and descriptions Winds tickle your neck, trees shake and jitter , and smells entice Oh, those deliciously fun doughnuts Haha I could see, smell and feel it all Plus the woman carved out a special spot in my heart for the shout outs of love for Doctor Who, insomniac squirrels, and the sacred Rock, Paper, Scissors game Now I confess dolls creep me out big time Those eyes They are right up there with clowns But what made me shiver in this one was the magic of imagination, fear, and hope Whispers, winds, and that something just moved out of the corner of your eye feeling Did she just move Did you just hear that Haha Huge hair raising fun that will have you grinning ear to ear I won t say anyabout the story of the doll though I will let Poppy, Zach, and Alice fill you in So do we have to lose a piece of ourselves to grow up Stop loving the supposed childish things in life Stop playing Goodness, no No, no, no I do feel like some days my smile and sense of adventure is sucked out of me by life and the daily grind But words and stories like this one remind me and recharge me Hold on to your imagination Believe Don t give up on the magic We all have a story Every day we write a new one by moving about the world and sharing our time and voices with others Who is in your story A highly recommended tale of wonder that I will treasure Grab a flashlight and tunnel under the covers.I did have one worry though view spoiler The stealing Not a fan Plus it happenedthan once The kids do show remorse and make steps to amend their wicked ways, but it still remains my only disappointment here You can call it borrowing all you like, but we all know what it really is Just a heads up hide spoiler I came at this little book with expectations waaaay too high, and my overall tepid response to it is the result That cover, that awesome cover screams epic creep I wanted Coraline This is not Coraline I hate to pit books against each other in caged death matches, but my reader brain kept doing that here, and guess which competitor got gutted and left for dead It was gruesome to watch so ill prepared was the one for the other Doll Bones will have some appeal to younger middle grade readers It s not too scary, and has likeable protagonists who hit the road on an adventure Stand by Me style You ve got two girls and a boy, so there s a nice gender balance too. Holy FUCK, I need this book


About 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, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series with Cassandra Clare , The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in


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