professornana (professornana) wrote,

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wondrous words

I spent most of yesterday lost, deliciously lost, in a book. I lingered over it enjoying all of the images and emotions and plot twists. Thanks, Ellen Potter, for sending me an ARC of THE KNEEBONE BOY.

Sorry the cover image is tiny. Amazon seems to have taken away the ability to see larger images except in bitmap files. Sigh. Forget the cover: jump into the book. There you will meet three rather strange Hardscrabble (and I love the name play in the book as well) children whose mother has vanished mysteriously and whose father is constantly heading off to paint portraits of fallen royalty. Max loves to sit on rooftops and think. Otto does not speak and never is seen without the black scarf wound round his neck. And Lucia is, well, Lucia is an interesting mix of opposites and conflicts. When their father heads off on another portrait job, the children are sent to stay with a relative in London. Unfortunately, the aunt is not home and the children are left to find shelter on their own. They head off to Snoring by the Sea to see if perhaps their great aunt Haddie can take them in temporarily. There they find themselves in the middle of a mystery that involves the Kneebone Boy, a lumpy castle, a castle folly, a fire breathing dragon, and a kidnapped sultan. Red herrings, coincidences, twists, danger, and even a ghost perhaps take readers on a crazy rocking ride filled with tattooed men, 21 toed cats, and miniature stuffed zebras. Potter has created a lovely stew of family, mystery, secrets, and embedded stories sure to please readers. Characters are carefully drawn (and wonderfully weird in every way) and, despite some of the rather mystical events, still quite realistic. The settings are just as carefully detailed, allowing readers a chance to climb the turret stairs and walk along the ledge in the secret passageway. The various events at first seem random. However, Potter picks up each tiny piece, each crumb, and fashions them into a magical treat. Savor this one, dear readers. <378>
Tags: tween books
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