Study Guide

Minor Characters in Doll Bones

By Holly Black

Minor Characters

Zach's Parents

Zach's parents recently got back together after a three-year split, during which his dad left home. Zach hasn't exactly forgiven him yet—in fact, he feels like it's inevitable that his father will leave them again. By the end of the book we're thinking Zach's wrong in this presumption; to explore why, swing by Zach's page in this section. In the meantime, know that his father is the most developed adult character in the book, seemingly trying to overcome his own rough childhood to improve his relationship with Zach. As he tells Zach:

"I grew up mean, and I don't want you to have to grow up mean too." (14.102)

He's far from a perfect parent, but he seems sincere here, and we think he's trying. As for Zach's mom, apart from her role as his father's defender, she really doesn't have much of a presence in the book. Sorry, Ma.

Alice's Family

Alice's parents died when she was little, and she's been raised by her grandmother, Mrs. Magnaye, ever since. Alice's grandma seems both tough and strict, and while we know that Alice has at least one aunt, her grandmother keeps her at arm's length: "She's never forgiven Aunt Linda for trying to get custody of me way back when. Brings it up at every holiday" (1.43). Let's go ahead and add holds a grudge to our limited list of traits Alice's grandma possesses.

For more on why this old lady's tough ways matter, be sure to check out Alice's page elsewhere in this section.

Poppy's Family

Apart from a brief encounter with two rude brothers, we don't actually get to meet Poppy's family. This makes perfect sense because Poppy's parents aren't ever really around:

Her parents seemed to have given up on the house around the same time they gave up on trying to enforce any rules about dinners and bedtimes and fighting […]. There weren't even family meals, just boxes of macaroni and cheese, cans of ravioli, and tins of sardines in the pantry so that the kids could feed themselves. (1.32)

It's a hard-knock life to Poppy, and she's got the escapist streak to prove it. To dig into her family's impact on her character, check out her page in this section.

Katherine Rausse

Miss Katherine is the stern but caring pink-haired librarian who finds the trio after they break into the East Liverpool Library. She calls the kids' parents and locks them in the break room—but not before she's made them tea and fed them Fig Newtons.

Random Characters

The trio encounters a variety of other adults during their quest. There is Tinshoe Jones, the nicotine-stained person who assaults them on the bus, as well as the bus driver who fails to do anything about it. There are also the staff members at the donut shop and the diner where the trio stops to eat. It's worth noting that Tinshoe Jones, the man at the donut shop, and one of the women at the diner seem to see the Queen as a real person. "Table for four?" the woman at the diner asks (13.15). Er, just three, thanks.

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