Review Detail

Kids Fiction 169
engaging middle grade read
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
BONE HOLLOW follows Gabe, a young boy who lives with Miss Cleo, a woman who cares for him exactly as much as she has to since his parents and grandfather died. Gabe is happy enough to try to make it work, and that is why he is on a roof trying to rescue one of her chickens when a tornado arrives. Gabe soon wakes up to find odd scenes, including his dog Ollie being allowed in Miss Cleo’s house with him- and that no one seems to understand him. When he shows up at his wake, neither alive nor fully dead, people immediately try to attack him assuming he is a zombie-type evil creature.

Luckily, a girl about his age who looks like one of his good friends, Niko, takes him to safety in Bone Hollow, a semi-mystical place with delicious food and lots of quilts. He soon learns more about this girl, who is named Wynne. Soon, he learns that Wynne is Death, and he has been chosen to replace her if he agrees. Gabe must understand what Death is and why Death matters before he can make a decision.

What I loved: This is a fast-paced, page-turner that will keep you guessing. Gabe is a likable and understandable character who readers will want to find purpose and happiness. There are also some interesting points about racism from Wynne’s past, as she was a black child in the late 1800s/early 1900s and died for lack of a doctor willing to treat black people. The book also transcends a particular religion, knowing only that most people must move on but not what happens after or who/what chooses who will become Death. There are also important themes about kindness and its value, even for people whom one feels may not deserve it.

What left me wanting more: Very little! As some small points, Gabe has had a really tough life with so much death and then the abuse/neglect with Miss Cleo. Adding onto that, there is some violence when he is not as dead as everyone suspected. However, these are somewhat addressed by the adults later in the book. A large portion of the book happens while discovering that he is not dead, and I would have liked more on the afterlife and the job that Death performs here, as this was really fascinating.

Final verdict: This book is an interesting story about what kindness, Death, and the choices we make. With some thought-provoking secondary themes, this book is an engaging read all around. I would recommend for middle grade readers who enjoy lightly dark fantasy and magical reads.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Astro Kittens: Cosmic Machines (Astro Kittens)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
Astro Kittens: Into the Unknown (Astro Kittens)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Sadie meets Girl in Pieces in this dark, emotional thriller...
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Abigail has just started her second year at the Tarkana...
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Based on the Disney Junior TV show and inspired by...
Rules for Vanishing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving...
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ever wanted to fold your own Chocolate Frogs? Or play...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...
The Brightsiders
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Could you fall in love with a robot? ...

Latest Member Reviews

The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
"THE RUBICUS PROPHECY is an engaging second book in the WITCHES OF ORKNEY series that follows the same friends on..."
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
"When Dad tells Nancy stories about when he and Mom used to go camping, Nancy knows it's something she has..."
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
"A WARM FRIENDSHIP is a story of friendship and loss, celebrating the time that you have together. Squirrel finds Snowman..."
Hilda and the Mountain King (Hilda, #6)
 
5.0
"HILDA AND THE MOUNTAIN KING is an engaging and thrilling children's fantasy adventure. This graphic novel tells the story of..."
Good Night, Santa: A Magical Christmas Story
 
5.0
"GOOD NIGHT, SANTA is a simple but elegant book that celebrates the Christmas season, perfect for bedtime. The illustrations are..."
Jolly Jingly Christmas: The Best Christmas Book Ever!
 
5.0
"JOLLY JINGLY CHRISTMAS is a cute rhyming, lift-the-flap, musical, non-religious celebration of the season. Each of the five full page..."
Dear Sweet Pea
 
4.0
"Sweet Pea is in her last year of primary school (K-7th grade) and will be starting at secondary school the..."
I Can Make This Promise
 
5.0
"I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE is a moving middle grade contemporary fiction about trusting your parents, finding your heritage, and..."
Peppa Pig Festival of Mud
 
4.5
"What I Loved: The story is based off an episode of Peppa Pig, and definitely reads like one. It..."
Everybody Says Meow
 
N/A
"What I Loved: This is one of those books that you can't help but smile while you read, even..."
The Other, Better Me
 
4.0
"THE OTHER, BETTER ME is a contemporary middle grade novel that follows a ten-year-old, Lola, as she explores herself and..."
Goldilocks For Dinner
 
5.0
"What I loved: The illustrations in this book are unique and eye catching, engaging the children from the outset. The..."
Ember and the Ice Dragons
 
4.0
"EMBER AND THE ICE DRAGONS is a lush middle grade historical fantasy that follows Ember, a dragon who was transformed..."
Douglas
 
3.5
"DOUGLAS is the story of a mouse who lives at the theater. She often likes to eat the snacks dropped..."
Wild Honey from the Moon
 
5.0
"WILD HONEY FROM THE MOON is a story of boundless love and a mother's quest. Mother Shrew is worried about..."
The Halloween Tree
 
5.0
"Be prepared to start a new holiday tradition with THE HALLOWEEN TREE. On the Christmas tree lot, there is one..."
Wake Up, Farm! (Pop-Up Peekaboo)
 
5.0
"WAKE UP, FARM! is a delightful pop-up, lift-the-flap book that brings the farm to young readers. Beginning with Rooster who..."
Isle of You
 
5.0
"ISLE OF YOU is a beautiful picture book that contains words of encouragement and coping mechanisms for dealing with difficult..."
Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever
 
5.0
"DASHER is a beautiful and elegant Christmas story that introduces the reindeer before Rudolph. Dasher lives with her family in..."
Cog
Cog
 
4.0
"Cog looks like an ordinary twelve year old boy, but he is an advanced android that the scientists at uniMind..."