The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter

Why begin with a children’s book? Because I read them! So many of my book choices will run the gamut from YA (yummy), to Speculative Fiction (in all it’s many forms) and even MG (pre-teen) fiction. Sure, I read adult books. My gray hair may lend you to think I should have a more mature pallet, but guess again.

The Kneebone Boy is quirky, dark, eccentric and wry. Could we name a new category Teeny- Tot-Gothic? I guess I’ll settle for Junior Gothic.

Otto, Lucia, and Max Hardscrabble, find themselves fending for themselves when their father, a painter of deposed monarchs, goes away on his latest business trip. They wind up in the village of Snoring-by-the-Sea sleeping in the dungeon of a play-castle. In true Gothic form there are mysterious circumstances concerning their mother’s disappearance year ago, a real castle with a history rich in secret illness and death. In the best tradition, the secret once revealed are both more painfully real and heart wrenching than expected.

Along the adventure they show love, bravery and kindness and invite us to join in the fun.

Here are some prized clips:

The best adventures happen before you grow old.
(Love the line, but hope it’s not true.)

I was the one voted to tell this story because I read the most novels, so I know how a story should be told. (Grabbed my heart, that one did.)

I can’t tell you which Hardscrabble I am… No one can stop you from guessing.

The last annotate quote drew me into this book. Talk about creative! First person POV from and un-named character. It kept me guessing for a few pages, but I think I figured it out – or did I?

Can we talk cover art for a second? The three Hardscrabble children stare out, eerily similar yet each hinting to their unique personalities. Oh, and the five legged cat (yes, look closely) giving a reluctant wave from in font of the scarf (important prop there) makes it for me. The mood, theme and some great plot points are all encaptured there.

It’s a quick read and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.


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Filed under Days 1-30

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