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book cover
Black, Holly.
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013
IL 5-8, RL 5.4

(3 booktalks)
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Zach, Poppy and Alice are best friends.  Their favorite game to play is a fantasy game using dolls and action figures.  Zach is really the brains behind the fantasy that has become quite involved.  The only doll they can't touch is the Great Queen.  She is a doll that is locked up in a display case.  But in their world, the Queen is in control of everything.  When Zach's father
rejoins the family, he decides that Zach is too old to play with dolls and throws them away.   Zach is too hurt to tell his friends what happened and tells them they are too old to play the game anymore.  But Poppy has other plans.  She takes the Great Queen from the display case only to find that the Queen has a mystery for them to solve.  The ghost of the Queen comes to Poppy in her sleep and tells her that she was once a real girl and can't rest until she is buried in her empty grave.  Can the kids find a way to get the Queen to her grave so she can rest?

Booktalk #2

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends forever. They love playing with their action figures and dolls, creating a magical world of adventure and heroism. Until, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring that he’s too old for them. Zach is furious and upset and embarrassed. His only way of coping is to stop playing with Poppy and Alice altogether. He’s too upset to tell them why. Poppy and Alice need to get him back, so one night they pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears she is being haunted by a china doll, The Queen, who rules over their imaginary land. The doll has told Poppy that she is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity….  (Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher award, 2015)

Booktalk #3

This Newbery Honor book is a creepy ghost story mixed with a rollicking adventure.  Alice, Poppy and Zach have been friends for as long as they can remember.  Their friendship centers on a story-telling game that takes place in a fantasy world they have created.  The ruler of their imaginary world is an old bone china doll they have named “The Great Queen,” that is locked in a cabinet in Poppy’s house.  Now that the friends are in middle school, they are starting to grow apart.  Zach, in particular, is getting pressure from his dad to give up imaginary play with the girls.  Just as it seems the friendship may break up forever, Poppy begins having strange dreams about the Great Queen and the ghost of a girl who claims she cannot rest until the doll is buried in her empty grave.  Thus begins a grand adventure for the three friends who attempt to help the ghost and put things right with the doll.  Once you start reading, you will not be able to stop!  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award, 2015)

SUBJECTS:     Dolls -- Fiction.
                        Ghosts -- Fiction.
                        Family problems -- Fiction.
                        Adventure and adventurers -- Fiction.
                        Ghost stories.
                        Adventure fiction.

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