I first heard about Bone Gap, written by Laura Ruby, on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast as part of their round-up of National Book Award winners and I planned to write a post recommending from just about the minute I started it. So the fact that it just this week won the 2016 Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults this week makes this a very timely review (a rarity for me!).
Bone Gap tells the story of Finn, a teenage boy who lives with his older brother in a tiny, Midwestern farm town. Finn has a reputation as being a bit slow or spacey, and things have only gotten worse since the disappearance of Roza, a young woman who was living with them. Finn was the only witness to her kidnapping, but he hasn’t been able to describe the kidnapper and everyone in town (including his brother) has been looking at him askance ever since. Aaaand that’s about all I want to say.
I went in to this book knowing that it included elements of magic realism, and I’m going to tell you that much because I think our readers here more likely to pick this up if it’s got a bit of magic to it (Biblio-therapy readers are a fanciful lot). However, I also read the book summary on the inside of the cover and it gave me some details that I wish I hadn’t known. This story and its magic and its central mystery unfold so slowly and naturally that I think part of the joy of reading this is letting the story take you along at it’s own pace.
So, don’t read any online reviews, just trust me on this. Bone Gap is sweet and mysterious and sometimes dark and scary and sometimes small-town claustrophobic, and just all around interesting. It’s a book that cast a spell on me.
Kinsey’s Three Word Review: Magical small-town mystery