Yesterday I came down with a yucky sore throat, which sucks. BUT, the good news is, I had a book I wanted to read. So I built a big fire in the woodstove and curled up on the sofa under some blankets with a cup of tea and a copy of Ellen Potter’s The Kneebone Boy. I had read the first few pages in the book store, which made me want to request it from the library. I expected to enjoy it very much, and I wasn’t disappointed. It definitely lived up to the promise of it’s first chapter.
Life in a small town can be pretty boring when everyone avoids you like the plague. But after their father unwittingly sends them to stay with an aunt who’s away on holiday, the Hardscrabble children take off on an adventure that begins in the seedy streets of London and ends in a peculiar sea village where legend has it a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal. . . .
In this wickedly dark, unusual, and compelling novel, Ellen Potter masterfully tells the tale of one deliciously strange family and a secret that changes everything.
I love the way the narrative in The Kneebone Boy captures the intense love the siblings have for each other, and for their father, without becoming sentimental or cheesy–and without using unrealistic characters. The children fight with each other, sometimes over petty things, the way real siblings do. And then they have moments of unexpected maturity–which I’ve observed my own children doing.
I also love the twists and turns of the story. I was surprised more than once while reading, and children’s lit rarely does that for me anymore.
Read this if you are a fan of quirky storytelling, children on an adventure, and stories with lots of family secrets.