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{May 5, 2012}   {ARC Review} Precious Bones by Mika Ashley-Hollinger

From Goodreads: Meet ten-year-old Bones, whose playground is the Florida swamps, brimming with mystical witches, black bears, alligators, and bobcats. Bones’ father, Nolay, a Miccosukee Indian, is smart and mischievous. Her Mama, practical as corn bread, can see straight into Bones’ soul.

It’s summer, and Bones is busy hunting and fishing with her best friend, Little Man. But then two Yankee real estate agents trespass on her family’s land, and Nolay scares them off with his gun. When a storm blows in and Bones and Little Man uncover something horrible at the edge of the Loo-chee swamp, the evidence of foul play points to Nolay. The only person that can help Nolay is Sheriff LeRoy, who’s as slow as pond water. Bones is determined to take matters into her own hands. If it takes a miracle, then a miracle is what she will deliver.

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If you’re looking for a great book for your kids to read, then this is it!  Set in the Florida swamps in the late 1940s, when racism is rampant and people have very little, Bones, the young protagonist, must work against the odds in order to clear her father’s name of murder.   This is a very touching tale concerning coming of age, which any MG/YA will enjoy; it’s full of mystery and intrigue, ripe with many themes, such as treating people right, regardless of race, age, disability, or wealth.  While the story deals with Bones piecing together the murder of a real estate agent, and then some, the underlying messages are loud and clear, and Ashley-Hollinger has such a way with words!  Filled with beautiful figurative language, this novel is great for any readers looking for vivid imagery.  This would also be a great novel to teach in the classroom based on the heaps of figurative language (just read the synopsis and see how beautiful it all is!), great themes, and the mystery behind it all that will keep young readers interested in the events as they unfold.  Though there are a few too many intricate explanations within the novel, in my opinion, I believe most young readers will really enjoy this novel–as will many adults.  Three stars.

Random House Children’s Book has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of the book, via Netgalley, prior to it’s realease on May 8, 2012.



+JMJ+

She sounds like a younger Nancy Drew, but with real spice!

I wish this review included some quotes to show that the language of the novel is as beautiful as you say it is . . . but I see that it was an ARC, which meant it wasn’t quotable. =( I’ll still take your word for it, of course! =)



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