Parents' Guide to

Doll Bones

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Tween tale is both creepy and sweetly poignant.

Book Holly Black Horror 2013
Doll Bones Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Scarier than expected, very compelling for older kids

My eight year old, an advanced reader, searched for this book at the library many times. Once she finally found it, we started reading it together. It wasn't scary in the first few chapters but did deal with touchy subjects like broken families and adolescence (though adolescence isn't directly mentioned). It progresses into creepiness late in part one and maintains the creep factor until the end. Strong atmosphere kept my daughter on edge for the whole story so I broke it up over two days. Once she hit about the halfway mark, she didn't want to stop reading and she finished the story over the course of a few hours. I felt the exact same way, this book will suck you into the story. Make sure you have an open evening to spare! The way the doll is made was the most disturbing aspect of the story. The doll, The Queen, was allegedly made by a grieving father out of his own dead daughter's ground bones and hair. There are no sexual situations or dialogue, no swearing and no violence in the story. I would recommend this book for most ten year olds.
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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (6 ):

DOLL BONES is just spooky enough to bewitch kids who love spine-tingling tales without violence or gore. But the real treasure lies beneath: Author Holly Black artfully hones in on a bittersweet turning point of childhood -- that strange time when you leave freewheeling pretend play behind for more mature pursuits, like sports and dating. "I hate that everyone calls it growing up, but it seems like dying," laments Poppy, who's starting to feel like the third wheel as Zach and Alice awkwardly deal with the first stirrings of romantic feelings.

Black may be familiar to young readers as the author of The Spiderwick Chronicles. With Doll Bones, she offers middle-schoolers a pitch-perfect coming-of-age adventure with goose bumps. And Eliza Wheeler's artwork -- including the sinister cover and black-and-white illustrations inside -- are lovely.

Book Details

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