Doll Bones by Holly Black, audiobook narrated by Nick Podehl

Doll BonesHalloween is quickly approaching, which makes this a great time to listen to a chilling adventure story revolving around three friends, a ghost, and a super creepy doll. Doll Bones (doesn’t the title alone just make you want to experience this story?) is the story of Zach, Poppy, and Alice – three best friends who have spent several years playing one ongoing game about a mythical land filled with mermaids, pirates, and an evil queen. However, at twelve years old some people, including Zach’s father, think it might be time to give up the game. After his father throws away all of his game characters, Zach is forced to tell Poppy and Alice that he is done with the game, but Poppy refuses to accept that the game is over.

In an attempt to lure Zach back into the game, Poppy steals a china doll known to the friends as “The Queen” from her mother’s collection, unwittingly awakening the spirit of a girl who died long ago, and setting off a chain of events that will change the friends’ lives forever. As their adventure unfolds, Zach, Poppy, and Alice must come to terms with what it means to grow up, including the possibility of growing apart. At the same time, the friends are also forced to reevaluate their relationships with their families. Not only must they face these realities, but they must do so while uncovering the disturbing truth about the death of the daughter of a great, albeit mentally unstable, pottery artist.

Holly Black has deftly woven a together a story that is part supernatural, part adventure, and part realistic fiction in Doll Bones. The main characters are genuine and relatable to anyone who is or ever has been balancing precariously on the edge between childhood and adulthood. Narrator Nick Podehl does a wonderful job bringing Black’s tale to life. His pace is spot on, and he effortlessly gives each character a unique and fitting voice.

Doll Bones is the perfect fit for readers in grades 5 through 7 who are looking for a hint of creepiness this Halloween season. It is just eerie enough to get your heart beating a bit faster, but won’t leave you feeling the need to sleep with the lights on. You may, however, want to toss a blanket over any dolls in the room.

Posted by: Staci

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