Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon and Schuster
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Grade Level: 5-9
Purchase: IndieBound | amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - This story is an Instant Classic!
Synopsis: 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 . . .
There are books that are meant to be read aloud and shared with the family -- this is one of those stories. My tween and I took turns reading chapters of Doll Bones, and it was the most amazing experience. We finished it in five nights. At times, we had trouble stopping because it was just the right amount of creepy and we needed to find out what happened next so we could sleep more soundly. At times, we had to go on because, aaaaahhhh, we had to get past this one plot point. At times, the tween caught things in the words that I completely missed, and we laughed, hard, about it.
I know when my daughter thinks back to her childhood, she'll remember this one week of summer vacation when we shared (truly shared it by passing it back and forth) a book together. We still talk about it today -- the characters were so real, their situation was truly a quest and the grown-ups surrounding them were so believable. Holly did one more thing that still amazes me when I stop to think about it; she captured a magical time in everyone's life. That in-between time between childhood and teenagerdom. Those magical moments, which sometimes only last a summer, when you're not quite ready for teenage-type outings. Those moments when you still want to play with toys and be a kid a little while longer. My daughter is exactly at this age. She sometimes plays with dolls and sometimes face-times with her friends. I love this age and wish I could stretch it out forever.
Please pick up Doll Bones and enjoy sweet, quirky, well developed characters who go on a journey to solve a very old mystery. Enjoy the moments of wait, was that FOR REAL or maybe we all just imagined it? Enjoy Holly's storytelling which has hit an all time high with this story and with The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (her YA release this year). And if Holly (or her publisher) reads this, please, please, please I want to beg her to keep writing for this age group because this mama will never stop reading stories aloud to her kids. No matter their age.