Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Bone by Bone by Bone" by Tony Johnston

David is a young, white boy growing up in Tennessee in the 1950s and Malcolm, who is black, becomes his best friend, much to the disappointment of David's racist father. The book covers about 4 years of the boys' lives and the adventures they encounter. David begins to see the extent to which his father might go in his hatred of blacks and wonders if his father is a member of the Klan.

I thought that this story was slow to start and the writing choppy, but I am glad that I stuck with it. The language used can be very raw and "authentic" in parts, which adds to the effect that it had on me. This book is short but carries a very powerful message. I give it a YAY.


At December 10, 2007 at 11:23 AM , Blogger Ms. Zandra said...

Actually, I enjoyed reading this book, but I’m just not sure if this is “award worthy.” I think it was both too young and too old at the same time. It was young because the main characters were only ten-years-old at the start of the story and the story itself centered on things young boy do and it was old because of some of the language and graphic details of some events. As I read this I kept thinking to myself, “Who could I recommend this book to?” I’m not convinced that teens will appreciate this one as much as an adult would. Nevertheless, I agree that this story has a powerful message. MAYBE

At January 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM , Blogger kathy said...

Zandra has a good point about the likely reader audience. The characters start out young (10) and the book journeys with them until age 13, but the details, reality of that era - lynching, language, and other acts of hate - demand an older reader.

I'm not entirely sure why David doesn't want to go away to school or why he doesn't try to be with his Uncle Lucas who seems to more closely share David's world outlook. David has a loyalty to home which he juggles by only hating part of his father - the racist, angry, violent, impatient version.

The message is powerful, voices are consistent, timeless message with characters who have depth and complexity. I'd like to discuss the teen appeal. YAY

At January 13, 2008 at 10:09 AM , Blogger Kip said...

I really enjoyed the book,however, it seemed too narrowly focused and it does not quite seem award worthy to me. NAY


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