Published by Feiwel and Friends
Released on September 14th, 2010
Source- the publisher
Ages- 9 years and up
5 Stars- Highly Recommend This Book
Life in a small town can be pretty boring when everyone avoids you like the plague. But after their father unwittingly sends them to stay with an aunt who's away on holiday, the Hardscrablle children take off on an adventure that begins in the seedy streets of London and ends in a peculiar seaside village where legend has it' a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal.... (quoted from the back of the ARC).
This is my first Ellen Potter book, and boy have I been missing out on her books. The Kneebone Boy has a voice I've not read before and one that was so intriguing, that it would easily appeal to middle grade, YA and adult readers alike. I'll admit, I was completely memorized with the voice and the story, even though it took me a few chapters to really get into the story.
The Kneebone Boy has a very fascinating setting, that is set in timeless England. The feel reminded me a lot of Lemony Snicket's. Though the story is about the three Hardscrabble Children, Otto, Lucia and Max, you have no idea which one is really telling the story. I really liked their characters- charming, witty and a little dark, the children have an independence and sense of adventure I admired. Their father, who often travels for weeks at time to paint portraits of dignified people, leaves the children with a sitter, Mrs. Carnival. This time when their father sends them to stay with his cousin Angela, who lives in London. The children arrive and soon find there's been a huge misunderstanding and Angela is away in Germany. Left with little money and no where to sleep, the children venture to find their Great Aunt Haddie, who's staying in a castle folly in a remote seaside village where rumors of the Kneebone boy have circulated for years.
I really love how the story becomes more twitted once the children arrive to an area rich in Kneebone history, tucked among the edge of the sea called, Snoring By The Sea. Hoping to find answers into their Mum's disappearance, the children are about to realize nothing is as it seems. They have a castle to roam about in, the Kneebone Boy to find, and they seek answers to where their Mum may be, to which their spirited Aunt Haddie has yet to give them. To keep this spoiler free, I will say Ellen Potter has done a beautiful job at telling this story, as her plot twists have left me feeling both satisfied with the story and wondering how I didn't see "that one" coming.
This is truly one of those books where I am left scratching my head and in awe of Ellen's ability to tell a wonderful story. Not only does the cover match the story and the characters perfectly, but it's a well written, well told story and one I will read again. The Kneebone Boy is a clever, fascinating, witty book, and one I highly recommend.