Mock Newbery 2023 discussion

243 views
Book of the Month - 2014 > June Read - Doll Bones

Comments Showing 1-34 of 34 (34 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 576 comments Mod
Holly Black has written some wonderful stories in the past. However, many are suggesting that this is her best work yet. Could Doll Bones be her first Newbery win?


message 2: by Kim (new)

Kim McGee (kimsbookstack) | 76 comments I enjoyed Doll Bones but didn't think it worthy of the Newbery. I for one am glad the year is only half over because I think the best is yet to come!


message 3: by LauraW (new)

LauraW (lauralynnwalsh) | 108 comments I am such a wimp. I don't even want to read the book, after reading the synopsis. Sigh.


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisa3moon) | 51 comments I'm picking up a copy as soon as my local library has power restored. Moore is suffering through Round 2 of a bad tornado season. Hopefully, June brings a new read and much calmer weather!


message 5: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (mrskathryn) | 4 comments LauraW wrote: "I am such a wimp. I don't even want to read the book, after reading the synopsis. Sigh."

Haha - same here!


message 6: by Erin (new)

Erin (erinelyse) | 60 comments I enjoyed this book, but I just wanted more all around. I wanted more history about Eleanor and her father. I wanted to know more about Zack's family...more character development in general. I think the story may have been better if Eleanor's story had been laced through the book...alternate perspectives...in my opinion. Though I know it's not relevant in terms of Newbery consideration, I couldn't help but compare the spookiness factor to Splendors and Glooms, and just feel Doll Bones fell short.


message 7: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Friebel (jenna_friebel) | 17 comments I thought this book was wonderful. I thought the spook factor was spot on and the mystery was constantly intriguing. The trio of friends were great, developed characters. I put this on par with Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.


message 8: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (kjiversonegge) | 2 comments I really loved this book. The way it explored growing up and the idea of "play" was really powerful. So far it's at the top of my Newbery list!


message 9: by Sara (new)

Sara | 35 comments I didn't find it to be very scary. I think the characters were well developed, but I had a few quibbles with how Black handled the development of the mystery. Not certain we'll see this on the award list for next year, although I found it to be distinguished in character development and theme. My top choice for the Newbery of the books I've read so far (still need to get to Hold Fast and The Water Castle) is P.S. Eleven. Hope we discuss that one here in the future.


message 10: by Erin (last edited Jun 03, 2013 06:39PM) (new)

Erin (erinelyse) | 60 comments I guess my biggest issues are with believability. I was willing to accept that 6th graders were playing with action figures, mainly becase it reminded me of role playing, but as the book went along, I found it harder and harder to believe the story, the sailboat incident in particular. Perhaps the characters were developed, but for me, a lot of the story, both the plot and characters (i.e. Zach being able to pull off sailing a boat just by reading a book) were a little too convenient. I am being very picky though, which is often a sign of a really good book.


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann | 29 comments I loved this book. I thought the themes were the most distinguished of any of the books I have read so far this year. I did look a bit askance at the ability of the kids to accomplish things like getting on a bus in the middle of the night without attracting too much attention, or sailing a boat (though admittedly they don't do it very well.) I loved that the end is left somewhat ambiguous about whether or not they were really being haunted or whether it was a lot of coincidence and half-remembered lore. It's one of my top contenders so far, though I haven't started seeding my favorites yet.


message 12: by Ann (new)

Ann | 29 comments I loved this book. I thought the themes were the most distinguished of any of the books I have read so far this year. I did look a bit askance at the ability of the kids to accomplish things like getting on a bus in the middle of the night without attracting too much attention, or sailing a boat (though admittedly they don't do it very well.) I loved that the end is left somewhat ambiguous about whether or not they were really being haunted or whether it was a lot of coincidence and half-remembered lore. It's one of my top contenders so far, though I haven't started seeding my favorites yet.


message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 49 comments I absolutely loved this book and read it in one day because I couldn't put it down. I loved the quest and the kids and the mystery. I thought Black did an exceptional job of capturing that not-quite-ready-to-leave-childhood quality that is so endearing in middle schoolers. Thank you for this excellent suggestion as it is probably not a book I would have picked up without my Goodreads community cheering it on.


message 14: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (libraryfanatic) | 3 comments Started & finished this one today because I couldn't put it down.


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan | 30 comments I loved that this book was not so much about a creepy doll (my initial impression) as about closure and reconciliation. The quest comes at a crucial time in the lives of these three friends; Zack's inability to tell Poppy and Alice why he is no longer interested in their game creates a crisis in their friendship. I like that they had the opportunity to live out some of the adventures they created with their toys as they work to do a service for someone they come to know only through dreams. There is a delicious feel of menace (the guy on the bus, the destroyed campsite, breaking into the library)that keeps the reader engaged. And yeah, that the Queen is made of the bones of a dead child is undeniably unsettling-- until the whole sad story comes to light. So symbolic, too: the burial of a doll by children on the cusp of their teens. I think Doll Bones is a strong contender.


message 16: by Mary HD (new)

Mary HD (marymaclan) | 97 comments Looks like I agree with quite a few of the previous commenters: I loved DOLL BONES. I admired so much in this book: how the protagonists broke painfully out of their childhood chrysalises, the way the children field tested their fantasies on their real-world quest, how the imaginary backstory of the Queen actually turned more unsettling as the connections to real life become clear. The characters are so engaging, the creepy plot gets ever more compelling as the book progresses, and the theme of what it might mean to mature and "leave childhood behind" is sure to resonate with young readers. Yes indeed, this is a strong contender.


message 17: by Martha (new)

Martha "My kids" could not get past the creepy part of this book to see the benefits of the theme. I believe the theme is the strongest criteria of this book.


message 18: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Mildenberger | 8 comments I echo many commenters on this page when I say that the theme was one of strongest I have encountered so far. A previous post commented on the symbolic " burial of childhood" with the burying of the Queen. I couldn't agree more! Black does an excellent job of linking everything seamlessly to her main theme.
How compelling did you find the characters? I found myself having a very difficult time connecting to them- particularly the girls. I was often forgetting which had which off-kilter family background/story, and couldn't create enough of a "mental picture" to relate those stories to indirect characterization. Because of this, I wasn't as intrigued by the plot as I thought I would be.
On a side note- I loved the illustrations! I don't know if I would have bought the whole "creepy doll" bit without such an eery portrayal in the artwork.


message 19: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey (zeedunn) | 9 comments Thought it was an enjoyable read. Plot and characters were the best points. The style for me was uneven. One minute it's a creepy ghost story. The next minute, it's adventure story. The next minute, it's a realistic fiction type of story, with contemporary pop culture references. The writing was uneven and that had a negative effect on the theme, which could have been a strong point. I kept thinking the author was writing 3 different books. For me, this isn't the Newbery.


message 20: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Tanner | 24 comments I finally (and grudgingly) read this one. I read another creepy doll book early this year that I completely hated (hence the grudge against this one). However, I LOVED the characters in this book and I thought the plot was AWESOME. I was really sorry when it was over (the fact that I still had two hours of traveling left didn't help). I don't know if it's good enough for the Newbery but I really liked it.


message 21: by Mary (new)

Mary Kay | 1 comments I read this one a little late as a newcomer to this group. I LOVED it. It has 'just enough' creepy doll to keep the reader guessing, while the story of on-the-brink adolescence hit home with my nearly there kiddos.
I found myself surprised, not always guessing the correct next step, which I loved.


message 22: by Becky (new)

Becky (becky_nelson) | 21 comments Wow! When students ask for a scary story, this will fit the bill! And I can't wait to read it aloud. Unfortunately the cover and the title may make guys shy away, but it's definitely of interest to guys and girls. I'm going to put a YA (4th 5th graders only) sticker on it. I could hardly put it down, it was so suspenseful! One reviewer said she couldn't come to care for the characters, but I didn't feel that way. I'm glad Zach, Poppy, and Alice made it through their quest and remained friends. Many times I wondered if it would happen. Like The Summer Before Boys, I believe Holly Black has captured that precious time in a child's life when s/he (reluctantly or not) has to transition between childhood and adolescence. If the symbolism of burying the Queen/burying childhood is obvious, so be it. It will ring true with children going through the same. This novel's at the top of my 2014 Newbery contenders so far!


message 23: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisa3moon) | 51 comments In a way I'm glad I've been stuck on the Hold list for my public library during June. I waited the whole month and my name never moved on the Hold list. That gave me time to read so many more reviews. Thank you for your honesty about this book. I feel like I already know the strengths and weaknesses and can't wait to read the book. The detailed descriptions you've been given to support your opinions really help me gauge how I'll see the book when I finally get my hands on it. Thanks, Readers!!


message 24: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 576 comments Mod
Hope you get it soon Lisa, and that you have nice calm reading weather.


message 25: by Shar (new)

Shar (sricks) | 6 comments I agree with those who have liked this book, especially the development of theme and the symbolism, which will be accessible to the target audience.


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisa3moon) | 51 comments Thanks Kristen. I picked up my Doll Bones copy today and will start it tomorrow. Thankfully, our weather is pretty calm right now and really beautiful. We have been spared the typical OK heat so far this summer. They say it is coming, but today is a gorgeous day!


message 27: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Sapp | 56 comments Ugh, I want more. The story is not complete to me.


message 28: by Beth (new)

Beth (bethgam) | 3 comments I loved it. I thought the characters and their growing pains were believable and likeable. For my school library, I was glad that the story was creepy without being too evil. I think it's good for the kids who want to be scared ... But not too scared. Loved the cover. I think that will grab a lot of kids' attention. Totally happy with this book.


message 29: by Library (new)

Library Maven (libmaven) | 17 comments This is a strong contender for me.


message 30: by Jenni (new)

Jenni | 77 comments I was also wary due to the cover and plot summary (and my wimpiness)but am so glad I bit the bullet to read this one. I love when an author can come up with such a unique concept. My only quibble is that the kids should have been a year younger to make the social situations more believable. I will be surprised if this is not on everyone's short list at the end of the year.


message 31: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (bibliobecky) | 3 comments This is one of those quiet mysteries for me, that it didn't start out to seem like a mystery, but evolved into one. I really liked the subtle differences in the characters, and their own individual complexities. The cover was far creepier than the rest of the book, but I am sure that will be a draw to my students.


message 32: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisa3moon) | 51 comments I'm seeing great reader reaction to this one. A mom and her daughter came in to check out copies this week. They are so excited to read it together. This one will be popular.


message 33: by Melody (new)

Melody | 32 comments This is another book I just could not get into and did not find the least bit believable. Not a Newbery contender.


message 34: by Caren (new)

Caren (carenb) | 33 comments Wasn't my favorite. Not sure how this one will go.


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Doll Bones (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Holly Black (other topics)