When Bone first came on the scene, critics raved about it, often mentioning it as being "fun for the whole family." Jeff Smith has always been wary about others labeling his work "for children," partly because he knew that "no topic of human experience--from the introspection of Peanuts
or the politics of Doonesbury
to the lyricism of Pogo
--was beyond the wonderful world of comics." He was also cautious because he knew that the story he was telling was going to deal with issues and themes graver than Saturday morning's cotton-candy cartoons. In Bone: The Dragonslayer
, the first volume of the second Bone trilogy, there is conflict, sometimes involving violence. There are forces of evil. There is war. But Bone is neither pap nor pabulum; it is challenging without being obtuse, and yes, even within its fantasy setting, Bone is real. This distinct combination makes it the best kind of children's book. Parents, read this book with
your children. You'll find it may turn out to be your favorite book, too.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up—This book will no doubt please fans of the series, but the plot is somber and often drags, and the humor is too easy, too sparse, and not dry-witted, as in earlier titles. What the story lacks in plot, it makes up for in character development; there are back stories about Thorn; Gran'ma; and a mysterious, new, hooded dark leader; and the relationship between Fone Bone and Thorn deepens. While the series as a whole has appeal to both young and old alike, the dark images and light violence in this title might be too intense for some younger readers.—Scott La Counte, Anaheim Public Library, CA
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