Okay, so this is an interesting story. I found this book, Doll Bones, by Holly Black, in the park the other day. I was playing with my daughter in the playground there, and some middle-school girls left it on the picnic table there. So, I grabbed it and noticed that it had been checked out from the public library in town. Planning on returning it to the public library on my next visit there, which would be in a few days, I put the book down on our desk in the living room, not planning on giving it another thought.
But then, when I was bored, I started reading it, and it was good! What’s more, as I read more of it, I found that it was very good, and I got really into reading it! The story of three young people who are new to middle school, one boy and two girls, and how they are–sometimes awkwardly–adjusting to growing more mature in their adolescence, yet not wanting to leave behind the sea-going role-playing adventure game they made up, is a charmer. Tinged with a spooky supernatural element involving a ghost, one of the book’s centers is a plot wherein young people get to go on an adventure without adults.
I won’t give away the details of the plot, but I will further say that this book is really fun to read, even if you’re one of those adults, like me, with part of you that is still a kid and you still relish a good children’s or young-adult novel. It was well thought out, it has a fascinating fictional backstory about the history of the doll on the cover, and at about 250 pages it is a fast read (you can easily read it in a couple or three hours).
I came to find out, by looking in the front of the book, that Holly black also wrote the Spiderwick-Chronicles books and is one of the co-creators of that series. I remember liking the Spiderwick-Chronicles movie, so I may put those books on my to-read list.
Another interesting and very thing about this book: by reading it I discovered that books like these–children’s and young-adult books–are perfect reading material for when there is a lot of noise and/or activity in my reading environment. For instance, I can read books like this when I am watching my baby daughter, when the tv is on, and when my wife’s teenagers are gabbing with each other and their mom nearby. I can’t do this with adult novels; they require a silent reading environment because I have to devote my full attention to them to get the most out of them. Reading this book also reminded me how good children’s and young-adult novels can be, and that they are worth reading. Basically, they are lite versions of your favorite adult novels: they don’t have the character depth, the vocabulary, or the complex worlds of adult novels, but they have the same structure, everything is just scaled down to make them easy enough for children and young adults to read.
Until next time, happy reading!
Rating (out of five stars): 4