Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bone by Jeff Smith

The Bone books are a nine book series following the life of Fone Bone and his two cousins, Smiley Bone and Phoncible P. (Phoney) Bone, after being exiled from their hometown of Boneville. Fone Bone is the good-hearted main character, trying to do what’s right despite his cousins. Appropriately named Smiley Bone agrees without much thought and thoroughly enjoys life because of it. And Phoney Bone? Well, the mayor of Boneville actually declared a school holiday in his honor … just so kids could come out and throw rocks at the town’s ex-richest resident.

Book #1 - Out from Boneville

Fone Bone, Smiley Bone, and Phoney Bone find themselves lost in the wilderness after being kicked out of Boneville. In this introduction to the saga, a swarm of locusts separates Fone Bone from his cousins. He quickly meets many major characters: a mysterious red dragon, pint-sized bug Ted, two bickering yet menacing rat creatures, and Miz Possum’s three mischievous kids. Finally he meets the beautiful Thorn who takes in the still lost, still freezing Fone Bone to her and Gran’ma Ben’s house.

Meanwhile, Phoney meets back up with Fone Bone – after meeting many of the same characters – at Thorn and Gran’ma Ben’s house. Somehow Smiley has made his way to Barrelhaven, the small village up the way, and is working at the local tavern. Kingdok, leader of the rat creatures, is introduced, and readers learn of the rat creatures’ search for Phoney Bone. All three cousins eventually meet in Barrelhaven for the annual Spring Fair.

There's more to the story, much more, but Book #1 basically serves to get readers familiar with the characters and setting, and Author Jeff Smith shows readers the peaceful life lived by the valley's residents, but gives clues to its forthcoming end. The comic book style allows readers to see the glowing eyes watching from the shadowed corners of the forest, feel the sudden onset of winter (WHUMP!), hear Gran'ma pull rat creatures through the wall (CRASSSH SPLINTER K-K-R-R-K-K-K-K CRUNCH), and understand the difference between, "CAN YOU HEAR ME?!!" and "OHMYGOSH."

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