- The Bone Thief by Alyson Noël
Library ed. ISBN 978-0-553-53801-4 $19.99
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-553-53800-7 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-553-53802-1 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 4-6
Twelve-year-old Grimsly Summerfield is the odd one out in Quiver Hollows as a kid with no magical powers or supernatural qualities, things that literally every single other resident possesses. One best friend can levitate and the other can bend two hundred spoons with his mind in sixty seconds, while Grimsly’s greatest talent is giving excellent sermons at the pet funeral home he runs. One day, though, things in town start to be, well, normal: the waterfalls simply fall rather than loop, dogs whelp puppies rather than purple piglets, and not a single spoon will be bent. Folks turn on Grimsly, saying his normalcy is infectious, but Grimsly won’t give up on his beloved town, especially when he learns that he is in fact part of a curse that could doom Quiver Hollows if he can’t find a way to reverse the spell. Grimsly’s a delightful narrator with a healthy mix of sarcasm and vulnerability that provides moments of guffaw-inducing humor and levens more emotionally heavy scenes. The latter half of the novel, though, turns jarringly dark, and the plot becomes murky, with details of the curse confusingly laid out and a resolution that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense within the world’s rules. Still, the return of weirdness to Quiver Hollows and Grimsly’s new status as the savior of said weirdness may be enough for readers who can appreciate the joys of eccentricity.