When Zach's father insists that the games he--and friends Poppy and Alice--play with dolls must end, the three friends refuse to let their imaginations die. Instead, they set out on an epic adventure involving a china doll that just might be made from the bones of a murdered girl. And along the way, they discover that there could be more to what was once a simple backyard game. Narrator Nick Podehl delivers a fun-filled reading that will delight this audiobook's young-adult target audience. Podhel delivery is simple, his pacing steady, and his performance one that skillfully captures all the action of this imaginative tale. Ages 10-14. A Margaret K. McElderry paperback. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
Gr 5-8--Black's tale (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013) of friendship and the trials of growing up is set against the backdrop of a spooky ghost story. Zach Barlow loves to make things up. He and his friends Poppy and Alice spend every afternoon concocting new adventures for their dolls and action figures. However, Zach's recently returned father is less than thrilled about his son spending his time playing with dolls instead of taking part in more age-appropriate activities, such as basketball. When he commits a drastic act to force Zach to give up his play-acting, it precipitates a series of events that send Zach, Poppy, and Alice on a midnight quest to lay to rest the soul of a murdered girl, a soul that now inhabits a bone china doll. Along the way, the trio uncovers secrets about the past and one another, and discovers that they are capable of more than they ever realized. Nick Podehl expertly voices the three friends as well as the unforgettable characters Tin-Shoe Joe and the pink-haired librarian, Miss Katherine. Black has written an adventurous ghost tale that fans of Mary Downing Hahn and Peg Kehret and devotees of the author's previous novels will love.--Michaela Schied, formerly, Indian River Middle School, Philadelphia, NY[Page 53]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.