Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner - ADVISABLE

The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner
, 267 pages. Henry Holt & Company (Macmillan), 2019. $17. 

Language: G; Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG 



Irreelle (11yo) spends her days winding through the underground tunnels and graveyard collecting bone dust for Miss Vesper’s creations. No matter how hard she tries, she is never able to live up to Miss Vesper’s expectations, not that Irreelle is surprised, she wasn’t made right after all. Miss Vesper is spending all her time creating someone better to take her place. After an unfortunate incident that causes Miss Vesper to lash out in anger, Irreelle runs to the tunnels to escape, vowing to never return. Imagine her surprise when she stumbles across another of Miss Vesper’s discarded creations, Guy, the boy she replaced. Guy is determined to leave and Irreelle wants to go with him, but wonders if she returned, would Miss Vesper forgive her. 

 I thought I was getting a scary story with a graveyard, bones, a ghost, and magic, but what I found was less creepy and more a story about friendship. The characters are unusual and the story is a bit odd, but the friendship parts work and there’s a nice ending. Unless you picked it up just for the potential scare factor, you will find this a nice middle school read. 

Reviewer: RB 

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