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Doll Bones

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  12,121 ratings  ·  2,149 reviews
A doll that may be haunted leads three friends on a thrilling adventure in this delightfully creepy novel from the New York Times bestselling cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

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
Audiobook, 244 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Listening Library (Audio)
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Sobia Be so that he could always have her by his side !
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanNavigating Early by Clare VanderpoolDoll Bones by Holly BlackEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris GrabensteinFlora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Newbery 2014
3rd out of 90 books — 381 voters
Reboot by Amy TinteraThe 5th Wave by Rick YanceyBroken Forest by Eliza TiltonThe End Games by T. Michael MartinThe Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni
May 2013 YA & MG Releases!
8th out of 33 books — 31 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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 far more of 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 ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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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 f
So in Doll Bones, Holly Black has taken the age-old desperate cry of imaginative and bookish children everywhere—“OH GOD GROWING UP SUCKS SO HAAAAAARD MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP!!!”—and then added the most fucking terrifying doll ever to serve as a plot device.

And you’re thinking, “Scarier than Chucky?” and I’m going to say, “Yes. Probably.” Because Chucky, at least, would just come at you with a knife. Whereas the Queen will not only creep around with you in the physical world, she’

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
Clover Donovan
Mar 18, 2014 Clover Donovan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
Holy FUCK, I need this book!!!

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.
What if our childhood games and fantasies were real? When is childhood over? Three children--on the edge of adolescence--set off on one last adventure in answer to a dead girl's wishes. Beautifully written. I particularly enjoyed the friendships between Poppy, Zach, and Alice. Scary, but not too scary. I plan to read Doll Bones to my 5th graders this year.
Pretty boring. The characters weren't very interesting or likeable, all they did was snap at each other, and the MC was so unbelievably generic and dull.
There was nothing remotely scary, creepy, adventurous or dramatic about the story, it was all so blah.
The illustrations weren't impressive either, they didn't really add anything to the book.
Mike (the Paladin)
I didn't place this on any of my shelves as it comes to us in the clothes of a ghost story but I would say that it's not truly that. Mostly I believe this is what I'd call a "coming of age story". The book is more the story of three young people growing up and trying to move from childhood into adulthood (with the cards often stacked against them) placed in the atmosphere of a ghost story.

We meet the 3 young people that we will "travel" with as the book opens. A young man and two young women (or
Hayley Knighten
I read this to my 9-year-old son and we both loved it. He loved the adventure, I loved how Black so perfectly captured that age just before adolescence.

As an adult, I think we forget sometimes how scary it was being a kid and realizing that growing up means putting away your toys and venturing off into the unknown of dating and adolescence.

The kids in this book are so fun and the parents were also incredibly well-crafted.

Then there is the ghost story, that was spooky enough to keep our interest
Benji Martin
Oh man. Where did this Holly Black come from? She's always been a pretty good writer to me. I really liked the Curse Workers series, but this is a new, and drastically improved Holly Black. This is Newbery award worthy stuff, guys. This passes anything Holly Black has written so far, by miles, and it's also better than any 2013 book I've read so far. I really think it's leading the Newbery race at this point.

The problem is, when a book is leading the Newbery race, people start picking at it and
Barb Middleton
My best friend, Ginny, and I would sneak into the storm sewer system that emptied into the nature center bordering our adjacent backyards, huddle around a candle (it was more exciting striking a match than flipping a flashlight switch) and whisper ghost stories to each other. We'd hike in the inky darkness bent at the waist until reaching a manhole where we'd straighten up looking at a spotlight of sunshine near a small hole at the top. Sometimes I'd climb the rungs to get closer to the light fe ...more
Zach, Poppy and Alice are friends who have known each other for ever. The three love coming up with awesome stories and to play them out with their action figure toys. Their current story follows pirate William the Blade and his ally the thief Lady Jaye on a quest for The Queen, “played” by an ancient china doll. When they reach a point when William the Blade is about to find out the truth about his past, the unthinkable happens: Zach’s father throws away all of his action figures because accord ...more
**** Newbery Honor (2014) ****

Three friends go on a quest of adventure to put the spirit of long deceased girl at rest. Quite a lot of fun and just the right amount of spookiness. It will make you believe in ghosts!

One thing, and this is probably just me, I kept confusing the characters of Poppy and Alice. There are portraits of the three characters on the back cover, which I appreciated. But still, it seemed to me that Poppy was a better name for the dark haired girl, and Alice was better suit
Jan 21, 2013 Janni added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Janni by: Mira Domsky
Sure, this book is about creepy dolls and bone china made with real bones, which would be reason enough to read it. But it's also a story about pretend games and story telling, how we need them, how we struggle to hang on to them as we get older, and how their role changes and doesn't change as we do. Lovely stuff that hits the right buttons for those of us who never gave up on playing pretend ourselves.
Colleen Houck
A little creepy. Loved the story of the doll. Still haunts me after reading it!
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, my thanks for the opportunity.

China dolls, creepy looking china dolls. Oh yes, I know what they are like. This book made me remember being a young child and being afraid of a porcelain doll that sounded similar to the doll in the book. This doll sat in a cupboard at my Nana's house and everytime I got sent to the cupboard to get something one eye open would watch me. I remember my heart hammering in
Je zvláštní, že s každou dětskou knížkou, co přečtu, si víc a víc uvědomuju, že chci být jako Peter Pan a nikdy nevyrůst.


"Nelíbí se mi, že tomu všichni říkají dospívání, a přitom to vypadá jako umírání." - Poppy.

Panenka z kostí je příběhem dětí. Příběhem o fantazii a o kráse porušování pravidel.
Líbila se mi.
Přečtěte si ji též. .)
I don't listen to audiobooks very often. I prefer to read, as it's much faster. However, I recently got a new job and I work a lot of hours and drive a lot now. So my reading time has been slashed. I put the audiobook on my phone and plugged it in so I can listen while I drive to the mp3. Man, I love technology!

This was a great listen. The narrator was superb, and each character sounded different. I put it on 1.25 so I could listen without going crazy with how slow it was haha. Before I knew it
Creepy doll! Really, no kidding, seriously creepy doll.

Three friends entering middle school set out on an adventure together, maybe just to have a last gasp together before they grow up, or maybe there really is a ghost that needs to be put to rest. Either way, the story works. It works as a contemporary novel of middle school and the shifting relations of old friends amidst sports teams and beginning-to-date. So that is firm, and worth reading. And then, there is the creepy doll, and the adven
When I was a kid, there was a ghost story we told called "The China Doll." It had the reputation for being the most terrifying story anybody knew, and before a telling began, we'd repeat the lore about the previous times it had been told. At so-and-so's slumber party it made someone cry. At a different party, it made a girl puke! And finally, the worst, a girl got so scared she had to call their mom to pick her up. Everyone was offered the opportunity to leave the room before the story began, in ...more
Bèbè ✦ the Ryski  ✦
“I thought you needed to be tougher. But I've been thinking that protecting somebody by hurting them before someone else gets the chance isn't the kind of protecting that anybody wants.”

A middle grade horror novel, Doll Bones tells a story about adventures and friendship that gets mixed with creepy events and different emotions. This was very age appropriate and even though it was horror story, there wasn't much scary things about it except the old china doll.

Friendship that was presented b
Reeka (BoundbyWords)
As seen on my blog:

Okay, before I even start, can we all please take a few minutes to STARE at the cover of this book!?..Because..REALLY..have you ever bared witness to such fantastic-ness!? I've said it before, and I'll say it a million times more: Middle Grade covers are a constant WIN. The genre is a magnet to SO many talented artists, I just..I can't even. The artist that designed the cover for Doll Bones , illustrator/author Elize Wheeler,can be found here. PLEASE check her out!

I'm gonna g
I love Holly Black, she is creeptastic and just all out darkly wonderful. This story *shudders* deals with one of my biggest fears dolls. Yes I am a grown woman, but growing up I had all these weird mop dolls laying around my house and well I have been terrified ever since. It probably doesn't help that my cousins use to scare the daylights out of me with them, but anyway that's beside the point. I have been avoiding reading this because I just knew it would scare me and I was right (I started i ...more
Donna  Happy Booker
Doll Bones is dark and whimsical, heartwarming and bittersweet, and so beautifully written that it will definitely find its way to my favorites shelf.
Zach, Poppy, and Alice are on a quest to return the "queen" (creepy porcelain doll possibly made from murdered child bones) to her grave. This quest takes them across Pennsylvania and into Ohio and into some pretty scary situations. Throughout their adventure, the kids begin to explore their changing relationships with one another, with their pare
Matt Youngbauer
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."

That process is at the heart of "Doll Bone's," Holly Black's amazing new middle grade novel. There comes a time in our lives where we generally grow out of our childhood and begin the sad, mysterious business of becoming adults. At least that is what I am told, since I still do magic tricks, and proudly wear my Batman tee shirt. But for Zach, P
I award Doll Bones the most intriguing cover of the year. The cover design created a discomforting sense of conflict within me. I do not read scary books but I felt compelled to read it. I believe it was the work of the Queen drawing me into the story of Zack, Poppy, and Alice and their mission to lay the Queen in her empty grave.

Any time a book inspires me to research it's back story, I know it to be a remarkable book. Doll Bones connects us to learning opportunities for discovering pottery m
Loved this one from beginning to end. I thought it would be more scary than it actually was....just enough to hook readers without giving more timid readers nightmares. The idea of "leaving childhood behind" in this story will resonant much more easily with readers than Hokey Pokey for sure. I agree with Tamara Jaimes that this one will make a great read aloud!
Jason Huffman-black
tutoring in reading and really enjoying the stories! :)
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Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Gl ...more
More about Holly Black...
Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1) The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1) Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3) The Coldest Girl in Coldtown White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)

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“I hate that everyone calls it growing up, but it seems like DYING.” 24 likes
“There’s people who do things and people who never do—who say they will someday, but they just don’t. I want to go on a quest. I’ve always wanted to go on a quest. And now that I have one, I’m not backing down from it. I’m not going home until it’s complete.” 21 likes
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