Doll Bones is a coming-of-age story, and as the characters try to figure out who they are, they mature and leave childhood behind. At the beginning of the book, Zach, Alice, and Poppy use toys to explore who they are, but by the end of the book, having completed their quest, this trio no longer needs toys anymore; they have established their own identities as adolescents. Burying the Queen is symbolic of these three leaving their childhoods behind (more on this in the "Symbols" section). Uh, and hopefully that pesky ghost will stop bothering them, too.
Questions About Coming of Age/Identity
Which character do you think changes the most by the end of the book? Why this character instead of the others? How do they change?
Over the course of the story, Zach takes on aspects of his favorite toy, William the Blade, and Alice "becomes" Lady Jaye. Does that make Poppy a villain in real life? Explain your answer.
Which character do you relate to most—Zach, Alice, or Poppy? Why?
Chew on This
In Doll Bones, growing up is like a form of death. Getting older is a huge bummer.
In Doll Bones, growing up doesn't mean losing yourself. Some things change, sure, but you're still you at the end of the day.