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Billy Bones: Tales from the Secrets Closet Hardcover – August 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316014737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316014731
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,576,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—Full of creatively descriptive language, this delightful story moves along rapidly, bordering on but never crossing into campy. Billy Bones lives with his parents, the proverbial skeletons in the closet, who have the job of guarding the secrets and lies of the residents of High Manners Manor, including the current household head, the nefarious Sir Barkley Braggety Biglum VI. His recently orphaned niece, Millicent, now lives at the mansion, where she is relegated to the attic. Naturally curious, she often sneaks out of her room to explore. She comes upon her grandmother, Dame Biglum, who has been shut away upstairs, and the Bones's secrets closet. After recovering from their initial fright, the youngsters become friends, and they work together to uncover secrets about the Biglum family history, Billy's puzzling origins, and Barkley's latest plot. Meanwhile, in the Afterlife, investigations about the Boneses' own family mysteries are underway. All works out in the end as secrets are revealed, goodness and truth win out over lies and deception, and villains get their just deserts. Characters are aptly named—the unlikable housekeeper, Miss Primly; the collector of souls, Uncle Grim; and the lawyers Hack, Whack, and Plunder. Cartoon sketches add to the drama and humor. Billy Bones is a fun read.—Jennifer D. Montgomery, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Christopher Lincoln graduated from the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University and spent nearly a decade working as an animator. He credits animation for teaching him how to write, because an animator must learn how to inhabit a character's body and move him in a world of his own. This is his first book for young readers. His Web site is www.chrislincoln.org.

More About the Author

Here is a bio written about me by one of my characters. He is much more clever than I am, so I thought I'd let him do the honors:

A few noble words regarding this lowly scum

by Sir Barkley Braggety Biglum, VI

Before I begin this toilsome task, there is one thing I must establish straight up. I do not like this man--not at all, and never will. He's ever so low on the social ladder, you know. I also wonder why I wasn't asked to write about an infinitely more interesting and important person, such as myself.

For example, I was born into great wealth in a towering manor overlooking the winding banks of the Codswattle River. This brutish lout was born in some boring hospital in Hartford Connecticut.

I attended Oxford and majored in Market Manipulation and Skulduggery. This poor sod just went to art school at Syracuse University. Pish posh and ticky-tack, what a yawner.

My first job, out of university, involved taking the reins of a large trust fund. According to my solicitors at Hack, Whack, and Plunder, his first job was as a loathsome boil (I believe he also did some animation, in Boston, to make ends meet).

I moved quickly up the rungs of social acceptance, he moved to Minnesota and started a family.

I plotted and planned and relieved my competitors of their fortunes. He switched careers to advertising and works for some company called Fallon Worldwide. Reports indicate that he works on the Nestle Purina business.

While he squeezes writing into his schedule, I crush every penny out of my local tenants (it takes a small fortune to lay a banquet on my table every night, you know).

By now it should be plain as potatoes. I'm far more interesting than this boring old trout. Perhaps he will invite me back sometime, and we can dispense with the boring bits that have anything to do with him. There's so much more to learn about my fabulous self.



This is me again (not Sir Biglum). If you would like to see a trailer for Billy Bones: The Road to Nevermore, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y6pX3rKNcA

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It would be perfect for independent readers who are picky about the books they read.
B. Gerson
Kid-friendly while interesting to grownups, the engaging boy-skeleton Billy makes friends and unravels the mysteries of Biglum Manor.
Amazon Customer
If you like spooky things that are just spooky enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, this is the book for you!
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on July 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Billy Bones is a skeleton living in the skeleton's closet of High Manners Manor, home of the obsessively greedy Sir Barkley Braggety Biglum VI. Billy's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bones, file and maintain all household secrets. Allowing a secret to escape can be explosive! Billy can't wait till he's trusted to begin training to become a secret's keeper himself. What he doesn't know is that some of those closely guarded secrets are his own.

After the death of her parents, Sir Biglum's niece, Millicent, must move to High Manners Manor, and is forced to live upstairs in the attic. But she is not totally alone. She is visited often by her parents, ghosts from the Afterlife. She is also closely watched by the housekeeper, Miss Hester Primly, who is not a ghost or a skeleton, but is infinitely more frightening.

Millicent, a natural explorer, finds that there are secret passages in the mansion and, as a result, learns she's not the only person living upstairs. Both Millicent and her newfound friend have the uncommon ability to see ghosts. It's not long before Millicent stumbles upon the secrets closet and meets the Bones family.

The secrets in the closet are piling up. The Bones have signed for an unauthorized shipment for Millicent, that has nothing to do with secrets, and which clearly violates rules of the Afterlife. Commissioner Pickerel, from the Investigative Branch of the Righteousness Department, pays them a visit and forces them through a glowing portal to the afterlife.

Without Mr. and Mrs. Bones to keep the mounting secrets organized, filed, and locked away, generations of Biglum secrets begin exploding at an alarming rate. Just as lies pile upon lies, one secret revealed, reveals another, and another.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By PTJazz on September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a great read! I gave this book a chance and I thoroughly enjoyed it. After the first few chapters, where the very unique characters were introduced and I "got them", it was so fun to see how the story played out. If you ever wondered about the phrase "skeletons in the closet," and what this means, this is truly a fresh explanation of just that - plus a LOT more!

Billy Bones: A Tale from the Secrets Closet
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Lincoln does a nice job of setting up an interestingly parallel world of skeletons, ghosts and concepts brought to life, and sets it to interacting with the mundane world. Kid-friendly while interesting to grownups, the engaging boy-skeleton Billy makes friends and unravels the mysteries of Biglum Manor. Read it aloud to your favorite kid, and be sure to do the voices!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Pisturino on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A delightful romp through musty closets and dark corridors filled with skeletons, ghosts, sinister characters and, of course,-- secrets! Mr. Lincoln has produced a well-crafted book for children 8-12 years.
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