2013 Margaret K McElderry Books
For Halloween, I wanted to share another book with a bit of scare to it. Last year it was The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black. The vampire feel to that one is perfectly tantalizing without being over the top terrifying (I just can’t read terrifying before I fall asleep at night).
Since I loved The Coldest Girl In Coldtown so MUCH, I went back to the pool of stories from Holly Black for another round. This time I read the award winning Doll Bones. I’m glad I did.
Doll Bones is the story of three friends on the cusp of growing up and leaving behind their childhood. Alice, Poppy and Zach are long time friends. They create elaborate worlds full of adventures to act out with their toys. These stories are always made-up quests for the Queen, a bone china doll locked away in a glass display case in Poppy’s house.
The day Zach’s father decides to throws away his action figures everything changes. Too hurt and embarrassed to tell the girls what happened, he puts an end of the games. Zach offers no explanations and avoids their questions.
A few nights later Alice and Poppy pay Zach a visit. They tell him that the doll they refer to as the Queen is really made from the bones of a dead girl. Unless they want to be haunted, all three of them will have to put her to rest. She is sending them on a real quest.
What I loved most about this book, besides Holly Blacks writing, is that there’s no clear-cut answer about the existence of the ghost. Is Poppy’s story about a possessed doll true or is she just wanting the game to continue? We are left to our own conclusions as to what really happens.
Doll Bones is a coming of age story where the kids are trying out being grown. The haunted aspects are never overdone. I found it all creepy and endearing at the same time.
Read more about Holly Black and her writing on her website, blackholly.com.