Title: Bone by Bone by Bone
Author: Tony Josnston
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Published Date: 2007
David has been told from birth that he will grow up to be a doctor. His father has hung a skeleton over his crib and has kept it to tag every bone with its name. David’s entire life is about his father, grandma, and great-grandma. That is until one Halloween night. He meets a ghost that seems a bit timid. When his father makes the young ghost take off the sheet, Malcolm a young black boy is underneath. Right away, David and Malcolm become instant friends. The time is during the 1950’s in Tennessee, and David’s father does not want his song associated with a black boy. Nothing can keep the two apart. When David’s father realizes this, he tells him that Malcolm is good enough to play with outside where no one can see them. But if he ever was to enter his house he would shoot him. During the years they grow really close, but something else that grows closer to their city is the KKK. One night when the Klan is chasing Malcolm the inevitable happens. Malcolm wants to come into the house to hide. What happens after that changes David’s life forever.
Awesome book. Read it in 2 hours. Like how I left the ending hanging? Know why? So you’ll read it!
David is the type of character that I hope I would have been if I had lived during that time. There were no color lines for him. I enjoyed that there were characters on each side of the color line that felt either sympathic or not. It was not prejuidice to either way. The story also didn’t say that what happened was right or wrong, it was more of fact of the times. It did show what happened to David and his friendship with Malcolm. It did show that even during a time where people were looked down on because of their skin color, there were people like David that didn’t see this distinction. It also showed David’s families views of superiority and how that effected their family. There are some gruesome scenes, but that just makes the situation all that more unbearable.
(even if the subject isn’t that happy)