A Creepy Doll and Kid Fears

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by Tim Burdick on 31 October, 2016

Doll Bones by Holly Black is a story about three friends, Zach, Alice, and Poppy, who create a role playing game together with action figures and paper cut outs. Their heroes embark on fantastic adventures of pirates and monsters. When Zach’s dad destroys his action figures, the young boy can’t bring himself to tell his friends. So, he lies and quits playing with his friends. Later, Poppy tells him about a dream. A ghost resides in the Red Queen doll and gives her an ultimatum: bury the doll or face the consequences! This is how their ghost quest begins.

Holly Black crafts a nice atmosphere of spookiness in the novel’s first part. The creepy doll with glass eyes is always watching the children. Her malevolent spirit provides mischievous moments as strange things when the children sleep. Also adults start to mistake her as a member of the group. Each step of the journey has obstacles which they must overcome in order to reach their destination.

Readers will identify with the characters and their problems. Their fears carry the emotional punch of the story. Poppy is worried about losing her friends, Alice is scared of her draconian grandmother, and Zach worries about telling his friends the truth. They are much more frightening than any ghost. They keep you reading page after page to see the outcome of putting a ghost to rest and if their friendship survives.

Remember when you read Doll Bones, ghosts give you chills, but the real world makes you hide under the covers and sleep with a night light.

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