Audio Review: Doll Bones by Holly Black

doll bonesDoll Bones
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Age Group: Middle-Grade
Source: Library
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

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 . . .


5 out of 5

5 out of 5

My Thoughts

I have been hitting pay dirt lately, with the audiobooks I’ve been listening to.  And Doll Bones was no exception.  I’ve been making an effort lately to read some Holly Black books because she is coming to a town near me in December.  Okay, actually she’s stopping in a town three hours from me, but still.  I recently read (via audiobook) White Cat by Black, and I really enjoyed it.  I decided to try Doll Bones next because I need to read more children’s books (I’m a children’s librarian, so I need to keep up with what’s out there), and it also looked AWESOME.

Doll Bones focuses on three twelve year olds, Zach, Poppy and Alice, with the story from Zach’s point of view.  Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for a long time, and their favorite thing to do together is to play with their dolls and action figures.  You see, while they’re playing, they create these amazing stories and adventures for their dolls.  And overseeing all their dolls on their adventures is The Queen, a very old doll, locked up in a cabinet at Poppy’s house.  Suddenly, Zach refuses to play anymore, but Poppy gives them the chance to have an adventure for themselves.

There were so many things I loved about Doll Bones, so I thought I’d share my thoughts that way.

What I Loved:

  • Zach, Poppy and Alice!  These three characters were each so unique, and so realistic.  No one was a perfect little child, and they all made mistakes, but they were such interesting characters, and I loved them all.
  • They went on a Quest!  I ended up regretting that I never went on a quest as a child.  And okay, what kids really go on an epic adventure?  But still, the Quest Zack, Poppy and Alice embarked on was fun, and realistic.  It’s not too late to go on a Quest at 30 years of age, is it?  🙂
  • How Holly Black discusses what’s it’s like as a kid growing up.  I can’t really remember how I felt when I was transitioning from child to teen, but I do remember what an awkward time it was.  Black spent time showing how Zack, Poppy and Alice were all transitioning into teens.
  • Nighttime adventures in a library!  Zach, Poppy and Alice spend the night at the library.  Talk about a dream come true.
  • Ghost!  Doll Bones isn’t incredibly creepy, after all it is aimed for a younger audience, but there is an air of suspense and creepiness.
  • Dolls made from bones!
  • Nick Podehl!  I’ve heard many bloggers profess their love for the amazing audiobook narrator Nick Podehl, but I had never listened to anything he narrated.  Well, now that I have, I can say that Podehl is AMAZING!  No wonder so many people speak of his amazingness.  It is deserved, and I can assure you I will be listening to more of Nick Podehl’s audiobooks.  Any recommendations on where I should start?

This I Disliked

  • That is had to come to an end?

Of course I went into Doll Bones expecting to enjoy the book.  However, I never expected to love the book so much.  There was nothing I didn’t like about it, and I already have suggested to other children’s librarians in my library system to add it to reading lists for kids.  I also plan on bringing it next year to book talk at the local k-8 school.  But even if you aren’t a children’s librarian, I think you would enjoy Doll Bones.  It’s almost impossible to not be able to relate to Zack, Poppy or Alice in some way, and it’s fun to look back on that awkward time of our lives.  When I go to see Holly Black in December, I can say for a fact that I will be purchasing my own copy of Doll Bones for Holly to sign.  This book needs to be in my own collection.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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5 Responses to Audio Review: Doll Bones by Holly Black

  1. lipsyy says:

    Oh this sounds AMAZING! I want to read more Holly Black too, after loving The Coldest Girl and The Spiderwick Chronicles. I’ll have to find a copy of this!

    • Quinn says:

      Oh you should totally read this, especially if you have a fondness for kids books. I haven’t read The Coldest Girl yet, but I plan on it soon.

  2. This sounds so good! I haven’t read any Holly Black yet (though I own White Cat). The whole premise intrigues me and I think I’ll be checking out the audio version now. Great review!

    • Quinn says:

      I’ve read four books now by Holly Black. 1. Tithe (not my favorite, but books about the fey are tough sells for me), 2. The Spiderwick Chronicles book 1 (cute!), 3. White Cat (so much fun!) and now 4. Doll Bones. Doll Bones is definitely my favorite so far.

  3. Pingback: October Finds | Lipsyy Lost & Found

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