Black, H. (2013). Doll bones. NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Zach, Polly, and Alice have been friends for many years. They enjoy playing imaginary games that involve pirates and many adventures. When Polly discovers that an old porcelain doll may be inhabited by a ghost, the adventures become very real. The three friends set out on a journey to return the doll to the grave where the ghost belongs. They must travel to a small town in Ohio to return the doll. They begin by bus, but when a strange man hassles them, they must leave the bus and take off on foot and then end up on boat. When they finally reach the right town they are dirty, exhausted, and angry with each other. They eventually find the grave for the doll and have a funeral for her before their adventure ends. This book was very eerie and mysterious. I loved the mystery and often wondered if the book was going to end up being a ghostly mystery or just a hoax put on by Polly. The theme of this book was showing how the friends are growing and changing. They face the possibility that they may grow apart from each other. As Havinghurst describes, adolescents need to learn how to get along with peers. This includes the changes in how relationships and friendships are made during adolescence. Friendships become based on shared interests, not just proximity of where our friends live.
This book could be used with grades 5-8.
To download a curriculum guide for this book, click HERE!