Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Bone--Quest for the Spark, Book One

Bone: Quest for the Spark, Book One
Tom Sniegoski (author), Jeff Smith (illustrator)
2011; Graphix (Scholastic); ISBN 978-0-545-14102-4 (softcover)

Summary:  It should be a time of peace for the Valley, with Queen Thorn settled on the throne.  But something dark is coming--something called the Nacht.  It has taken over the Dreaming, the world you enter in your sleep.  Now anyone who falls asleep is trapped by the Nacht.  The only hope for the Valley is Tom Elm, the twelve-year-old son of turnip farmers.  He knows he could be a hero, but he didn't know that being one would be so scary.  Thankfully, he has some help: his best fried Roderick the raccoon, explorer Percival Bone, and Percival's niece and nephew.  There's Randolf the Veni Yan warrior-priest, a member of the Fair Folk called Lorimar, even two stupid Rat Creatures.  But will this be enough to defeat the Nacht?

The nine volumes in the Bone series, created by Jeff Smith, are extremely popular with the late elementary school/middle school set, and author Tom Sniegoski has crafted a stirring tale that builds on the original world of BoneQuest for the Spark stands on its own, but will attract both new readers and old friends of the Valley.  The mix of gentle humor and fast-paced adventure draws in the reader, and the cliffhanger ending is bound to mean impatient waits for book two.  The characters are simple and straight-forward, although Lorimar and Randolf have more complex natures.  The full-color illustrations scattered through the story are witty and fun.  Quest for the Spark is a great way to entice middle schoolers to move from the children's room to the YA area. 

Other Reviews
Guys Lit Wire:  http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com/2011/01/bone-quest-for-spark-book-one-by-tom.html
Getting Kids Reading:  http://gkreading.com/2011/03/review-quest-for-the-spark-the-new-bone-novel/
Kids Comics:  http://www.kidscomics.com/default.asp?t=1&ai=105154&si=798
Graphic Novel Reporter:  http://www.graphicnovelreporter.com/content/bone-quest-spark-book-one-review

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