With the Tribute Edition, Bone Finally Falls Off This Shelf of Shame

BookendsCindy: This qualifies as a Mystery Month post. The primary mystery is: Why haven’t I read Jeff Smith’ Bone before? It certainly doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce the answer. This graphic novel series is so popular in my middle school libraries that it doesn’t need my promotion and it’s hard getting a copy wrenched from the students’ hands. The publication of the new Out from Boneville: Tribute Edition intrigued me, though, and I begged Scholastic for a look-see. Before the review copy even arrived I’d ordered copies for my two libraries, knowing that the Bone fans would want to get it as soon as it published.

Bone TributeI remember when the full-color edition published as a launch for Scholastic’s Graphix imprint and can’t believe it has been TEN years! Fone Bone (our hero) and his cousins, Smiley Bone and Phoney Bone, are separated in a desert after being thrown out of Boneville as the story begins. Their adventures while trying to survive and reunite are humorous, dangerous, and occasionally lustful (enter book-loving Thorn, stage right) and the pages are filled with dragons and strange creatures, great characters, and lurking evil. The mystery is slow to unfold (this really is an adventure story, after all), but it is there, and I’m finally along for the ride. Point your young fans in the direction of the official Scholastic Bone website where they can learn more about the series and also create their own Bone comic book (in the Games tab).

If you want to hear from Jeff Smith, you have some options. Ian Chipman interviewed him in 2012 for Booklist’s Talking With series and then there is Geek Dad‘s Five Questions with a Five-Year-Old video of his daughter Zoey talking with Smith last September. We’re apparently not the only bloggers with a young Focus Group! 😉

I’ll let Lynn tell you about the anniversary treats in this Tribute Edition…I’m off to challenge a kid to a duel to get my hands on The Great Cow Race. I have some catching up to do!

Mystery Month 2015Lynn: The other mystery is why it took so long for her to listen to me about these wonderful books, but it is never too late for a convert. And speaking of converts—there is a reason this is called the Tribute Edition! Bone influenced many artists and some of them have joined in the fun. Following the story is a special section that includes “Pinup Art Moments” from Out of Boneville, which are great full-page illustrations from scenes in the story, an “Ode to Quiche” illustrated poem, AND a “Tribute Gallery.” Here, 16 great graphic artists have each created a full-page Boneville drawing of their own. The artists will be quickly recognized by young fans and include popular stars like Raina Telgemeier, Dav Pilkey, James Burke, Dan Santat, Kazu Kibuishi, Jeffrey Brown, and more. A gorgeous full-color map of the Valley adorns the end pages and a preview of The Great Cow Race concludes the volume. It is no mystery that this is a tribute to be treasured.


About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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