Middle Grade Monday is a feature started right here at Reading Nook. It's a way to share news or reviews of middle grade novels on a blog that doesn't exclusively post middle grade content. Feel free to join any time and link up.
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Very creepy.)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Page Count: 244 p.
Add it: Goodreads
Zach, Poppy and Alice all like to make up stories. They construct elaborate fantasy in Poppy's back yard with dolls. Even though they are getting older, they don't care, they love the game. Zach's father thinks it's time to grow up though and throws out all of Zach's action figures. He doesn't want to tell the girls how upset he is about it, so he tells them he doesn't want to play. They can't except this though and soon strange things start to happen. In the dead of night the girls come to Zach and tell them that the Queen, and old china doll, is haunting them and they have to travel to her grave and bury her in order to be relieved. Zach isn't sure how much he buys of it, but he goes along anyway. Even without the dolls, it seems like they can still have quite and adventure.
This was a bit spooky. As someone who isn't too keen on dolls, this made it a bit tricky to sleep. China dolls are especially creepy with their cold, glowing eyes. Anyways, they are creepy and this doll is extra creepy. I don't want to give too much away, but trust me. I'm almost glad this was middle grade and not YA, because if it was older it would probably have been too terrifying to sleep with the lights off.
Holly Black is just fab though and created these three great characters and an epic quest. I really enjoyed watching them learn more about themselves and each other. This book had a lot of navigating into being a teen and what you leave behind. I don't think imagination needs to be left behind. If it does get left behind we have no good authors and that would be sad.
This is a good read for upcoming Halloween if you want something a bit adventurous with an element of spooky.
"Poppy set down one of the mermaid dolls close to the stretch of asphalt road that represented the Blackest Sea."
"I'm just different like weird."
(doesn't have to be posted on a Monday)