Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Doll Bones by Holly Black

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This book is perfect for my 6th graders!  Zach, Alice, and Poppy have always played games, creating stories for their dolls that involve daring feats and adventures, but they’re growing up.  Shouldn’t they be growing out of the silly make believe games?  When Zach’s dad throws out all of his toys, ending the game for him, a new story begins.  Hoping to entice Zach back into the game, she smuggles a bone china doll from her mother’s cabinet, only to discover a mystery.  Complete with a quest, ghosts, a crazy man, and a library, this adventure will keep readers engaged.

I really enjoyed this and appreciated the author’s attempt to convey the devastation of growing up.  I feel that kids who are entering 5th and 6th grade are starting to hit that period where they realize it’s not all fairy tales and that one day they’ll be too old to play pretend (if they don’t already know that now).  In the story I don’t think we ever know how old they actually are (or it’s so subtly stated that I can’t remember and don’t care to go back and look) and I believe that’s a good choice.  By keeping the kids just somewhere in middle school it will allow more young readers to identify with the characters.

I am glad I can put this in my classroom library this fall.  I hope it gets picked up soon so I can hear what students are thinking about it!

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