Doll Bones

Holly Black, illus. by Eliza Wheeler. S&S/McElderry, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4169-6398-1
Zach plays with dolls. Never mind that they’re action figures, heroes in a wild, improvisational saga he acts out with friends Poppy and Alice. Never mind that he’s a solid student and rising basketball star. Zach is 12, and his father has decided this must stop. While Zach’s at school, the dolls go to the dump, and Zach is left with only rage. He quits the game, but Alice and Poppy haul him out for one more quest: a bus trip to lay to rest the Queen, a bone china doll that Poppy swears is made from the bones of a murdered girl. Another crazy quest from Poppy’s fertile brain? Or could this ghost story be real? The wonderfully eerie doll, the realism of the kids’ improbable logic, and the ache underlying every character’s actions create as much a state of existential anxiety as narrative tension. Black captures the adolescent sense that things are about to explode before they get explained. And it’s a darn good adventure, too. Ages 10–14. Author’s agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/25/2013
Release date: 05/07/2013
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