September 30, 2019

A Box of Bones: Guest blog post

Today's review has been submitted by Grade 6 student Bronte L.

Written by Marina Cohen
Roaring Brook Press
288 pp.
Ages 8-12
May 2019

In Marina Cohen’s book A Box of Bones, the main character, Kallie, is very logical and intelligent for her age, yet she lacks imagination. When her beloved grandfather takes her to the Festival of Fools, she doesn’t enjoy it as much as the other visitors do. During the Festival, a faceless man in a fedora gives Kallie a wooden box. Later, she figures out that the box is a puzzle. Against her father's advice, she starts solving the puzzle, and uncovering secrets. Finally she finds the right combination and unleashes something that seems like magic.

While Kallie tries to figure out what’s happening to her world, Liah, a young bone carver, goes on a long journey with her master to sell bone carvings to the empress.  On the journey, she ends up accidentally wrecking a valuable cup that her master made.  She tries to hide this fact from her master along the way.  Although Kallie and Liah's worlds are far apart in time and place, their stories connect in many ways. 

A Box of Bones by Marina Cohen is great for readers in Grades 4-8 seeking a book full of adventure and suspense. It's a book on developing friendships and uncovering family secrets. The large font, short chapters and 281 pages makes it great for a light read. The cliff hangers will make you stay up past your bedtime. The emotional description is fantastic.

Out of ten, I would give A Box of Bones an 8. I loved how the two worlds intertwined. Trying to put together all of the clues and secrets made me feel like a sleuth. All of the characters are original and interesting, their back stories are emotional and deep. Both worlds had their share of drama and suspense. This book gives the reader many chances to draw connections and imagine a new and exciting world.  Once you read this book, you will be drawn into the magic of it all.

~ Bronte L.

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