This month I once again led a discussion group of Holly Black's Doll Bones, a 2014 Newbery Honor book, at the local middle school book club. Since it is the same book I did last time and we pretty much discussed the same questions, I'm just going to link to my previous post for the book summary and questions: Middle School Book Club - Doll Bones (December).
How It Went
This time around I had a smaller group, only five, due to some kids having to go to rehearsal for the school musical. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see two boys show up! Last time I had all girls, because apparently having "doll" in the title and a doll on the cover makes some boys think it is a "girl book". I told that last group that it was their job to convince some boys to give it a try, so apparently they were successful.
This group was much quieter than the last one, which was rather boisterous. The girls did talk and discuss, they just weren't quite as exuberant in their discussion and didn't have quite as much to say as the previous group. I had a really hard time getting the boys to say much of anything at all; they both seemed pretty shy. With the last group I really didn't have to do much prompting; the discussion just flowed naturally, but with this one it was a little stiff and awkward at times. It was interesting to see that this group didn't really believe there was a real ghost or that the doll was really haunted, and thought that Poppy made it up as a new game to keep the three of them together, and explained Zach's dreams of the ghost as the result of the power of suggestion. They also didn't seem to pick up on the budding romance between Zach and Alice.
Everyone agreed the book was spookier than they expected, and that they all liked it and would like to see it make into a movie, even the ones that said they didn't typically read scary stories. I asked for suggestions for similar books that someone who enjoyed Doll Bones might like, and they responded with The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hall.
Next time I will probably ask to do a different book, just for variety. I've done this one twice already, so I'm ready for something new.