March 22, 2012

The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter {Review}

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: September 14, 2010
Source: Library
The Hardscrabble children are weird.
Otto doesn't speak.
Lucia is shamelessly candid.
And Max likes to sit on the roof of their house.
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 children take off on an adventure that ends in a peculiar seaside village where legend has it a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal...

Disclaimer: I wrote this review past midnight so I’m sorry if it seems a bit jumbly or rambly :P

I ended up adoring this book. I say it that way because for the first ¼ to 1/3 it wasn’t really making me want to jump up and down or anything, but then THINGS happened and I was turning pages rather quickly being all sucked into the story and whatnot.

First, I just want to touch on the thing that I loved most about The Kneebone Boy: the narration. Despite how many books I read I’m kind of terrible when it comes to literature terms. I can never remember what’s 1st person, what’s 3rd, and so on and so forth. That being said, I’m not sure if the narration of this book is entirely unique, but it’s the only book I’ve come across like it and I loved it. Of course, now you’re saying to yourself “well how in the world IS it narrated then?!” Well, first of all it doesn’t right out tell you who is narrating. Second of all, the narrator knows they are telling you the story and occasionally even points it out. I loved the reading experience it provided.

I loved that the Hardscrabble children were all so unique. They all had distinct personalities along with flaws which made them feel more realistic. Of course, there are also fantastic side characters, but some of my favorites don’t pop up until a time when it would spoil the story if I mentioned them, so I shan’t. Also, the cat(the one from the cover) is rather neat. He doesn’t talk or anything (sorry to disappoint) but I love when animals make an appearance in books all the same :]

The story itself is fantastic as well. It’s not all action and adventure which is what I usually go for when I read MG, but it does have a sort-of adventure mystery thing going for it and I adored it. It’s not quite as creepy as the cover may lead you to believe, but it still has some spooky moments.

The Nutshell: If you actually read all my ramblings up top you’ll know that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you didn’t, then I think I just made my feelings clear. Though it started out a bit slow for me I stuck with it and I’m incredibly glad I did. I found the narration to be unique and the story to be engaging and fascinating. The Kneebone Boy is definitely a story worth your time, especially if you’re looking for an MG with a fresh feel.

Pages: 288
Series: No
Rating: 4.5 stars


  1. This sounds quite good, I love the concept of a mysterious narrator! The character traits each of them have also intrigues me... I think I'm adding this to my wishlist! Thanks for sharing! =]

  2. Yay! I've been waiting for this review. I love the cover, I'm guessing this is the same cover artist as for The Humming Room? It looks very similar stylistically.

    I love the narrative style that I think you're talking about, where the narrator speaks directly to the reader. This is also used in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and Tale of Despereaux.

    I'm totally going to be reading this one asap!

  3. Oh, you just made me even more excited to read TGWCFiaSoHoM! (MAN, that name is long!) It was used a little in The Series of Unfortunate Events too, now that I think about it. I really enjoy it :]

  4. +JMJ+

    I've seen that narrative style before, too, in The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit. One of the children is narrating but doesn't want to reveal his identity yet. It soon becomes clear which child is telling the story, and it's kind of endearing that he remains unaware until his big reveal that he has given himself away. Yes, asides to the reader are included. =)

  5. I'm super pumped to read this one after reading her "The Humming Room" :) Glad to hear its great.

  6. This book bought joy to my kids, this is their all time favorite book. I’m glad they liked it, they’ve never been to book reading, not till now. They say the book is full of adventure. Nice blog by the way.


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