A couple of weeks ago, a whole bunch of Official librarians across America got together and decided that awards needed to be given out. Many awards were given out, and of those awards, about half a dozen were given to teen books. Over the next week we will highlight some of the awards and some of the winners, but for today, I want to first present an award that is arguably the Academy Award of the Young Adult book awards: the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. (This award is named after Michael L. Printz, a librarian passionate about teen books and the authors that wrote them, so much so that he initiated an author-in-residence program at his highschool). This year, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby won this prestigious award!
Lucky for us, we have a new guest reviewer who had already read this book and was more than happy to tell us what this book was about and why it deserved this award. I’m crazy excited to introduce Rebekah to our Teen Zone blog! Rebekah is one of my coworkers at the Carrollton Public Library who is also super enthusiastic about teen literature. Rebekah loves caffeine and cleaning, and hates long walks on the beach because the humidity makes her hair gross.
Without further ado, Rebekah’s awesome review!
A couple of weeks ago, a whole bunch of award-winners were announced, and the winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature was none other than Bone Gap by Laura Ruby! I read Bone Gap last summer and it is awesome. I will tell you exactly why.
Bone Gap is a book about a town called Bone Gap, where weird stuff is bound to happen. People are known to disappear–most of the time because they run off, like how Finn and Sean O’Sullivan’s mother ran off and left them to get remarried.
So when a young, beautiful woman named Roza vanishes just as mysteriously as she arrived, no one in Bone Gap is altogether surprised or concerned. The only one who’s worried about Roza is Finn, who claims he saw a man take Roza, but can’t explain what the man looked like.
The people of Bone Gap know that Finn has always been a little off. He mixes people up, or he calls people by the wrong name. One time his girlfriend got a haircut and he walked right past her like he’d never seen her before–now she’s his ex-girlfriend.
But what was harmless behavior before Roza’s disappearance suddenly becomes somewhat sinister to the people of Bone Gap. Even Finn’s brother Sean–who was in love with Roza–can’t stand to look at Finn anymore. So it is up to Finn to look for Roza, and only a beekeeper and a magic horse will help him.
My favorite thing about Bone Gap is Roza. In a ton of fiction, the woman who disappears is kind of used as a catalyst that sets up the story for the real characters. The disappeared woman is a plot device and is used as a vehicle to move the storyline forward without having any actual substance as a person or a character. This trope is used over and over again in mystery fiction. In Bone Gap, however, Roza’s story–her history, her terrifying and surreal present–is heard. Bone Gap is as much Roza’s story as it is Finn’s.
If you love stories where reality and fantasy blend into surreal fiction, Bone Gap is definitely the book for you. Interesting characters, great writing, a wonderful mystery, a modern take on a myth many people will know…this book has everything, even a delightfully angry beekeeper named Petey.
Verdict: It’s an A+ book with 5 stars!
If you’re interested in Bone Gap, make haste and find a copy at Carrollton Public Library here! I hope you love Bone Gap as much as I did. Happy reading!