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The Resource The bone garden, Heather Kassner ; illustrations by Matt Saunders

The bone garden, Heather Kassner ; illustrations by Matt Saunders

Label
The bone garden
Title
The bone garden
Statement of responsibility
Heather Kassner ; illustrations by Matt Saunders
Creator
Contributor
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Made from bone dust and imagination, Irreélle accidentally destroys another of Miss Vesper's creations and flees to the underside of the graveyard, seeking the magic that brings bones to life
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Grades 4-7 Kassner’s haunting debut will leave a quiet yet lasting impression on readers. Evoking the dreamy tone and themes of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (2002) and The Graveyard Book (2008), the novel introduces Irréelle, a young girl who collects bone dust for her cold, cutthroat guardian and creator, Miss Vesper. Irréelle longs to be a real girl instead of one of Miss Vesper’s gossamer constructions. When she accidentally destroys one of Miss Vesper’s new creations, Irréelle retreats to the very place from where she extracts bone dust: the catacombs beneath the cemetery. Once there, she meets Guy, a boy who, like her, was created and then rejected by Miss Vesper. The two embark on a quest to discover where Miss Vesper gets her magic and to find how they can use it to become real. With a timeless feel, Irréelle’s story broaches the subjects of loss and forgiveness with a deft touch. This is an impressive new fairy tale that will appeal to fans of Lisa Graff’s subtly magical stories. -- Caitlin Kling (Reviewed 6/21/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 20)
  • Formed from bone dust and imagination, Irréelle, 11, works in the tunnels beneath a cemetery for her cold creator, Miss Arden Vesper, to whom she is connected by a magical thread. All Irréelle wants is to be loved and cared for, but Miss Vesper refuses to mend Irréelle’s misaligned limbs, using bone dust, which Irréelle extracts from corpses, for her own longevity and “dark creations.” After Miss Vesper informs her that she can be easily dispatched, Irréelle escapes to the tunnels, where she finds and rescues her predecessor, Guy. Guided by disembodied Hand, they begin to unearth the truth about Miss Vesper and her quest for “an unmarked grave that is very clearly marked.” Up against dirt bats, the graveyard’s sadistic night watchman, and Miss Vesper herself, Irréelle, Guy, Hand, and Irréelle’s replacement, Lass, must disentangle the secrets of bone magic before Miss Vesper unmakes them all. Kassner’s uneven debut seems to be alluding to larger questions about abuse, ability, and self-acceptance, but these themes are left undeveloped, raising troubling, even disempowering messages. Still, the eldritch atmosphere and compelling mystery will likely draw fans of middle grade horror, and Saunders’s spooky black-and-white sketches bolster the tale. Ages 10–14. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. (Aug.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 06/17/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 24, p)
  • A girl conjured from bone dust longs to be real—and loved—in Kassner's debut. Eleven-year-old Irréelle doesn't believe in ghosts, though she spends her days beneath a cemetery—the titular "bone garden"—extracting bone dust for her sinister creator, Miss Vesper. But she is haunted. Miss Vesper constantly criticizes Irréelle's "mismatched" and "muddled" white hair, multicolored eyes, and crooked limbs; worse, she reminds Irréelle that she's "a figment of [her] imagination, tethered here by the finest thread." Terrified of being wished away, Irréelle vows to complete an "impossible" task in hopes that Miss Vesper will make her "normal" and "fully real. Maybe then she would be worthy of love." As Irréelle and her somewhat one-dimensional fellow creations—wisecracking Guy, fearless Lass, and the mischievous, disembodied Hand—search for "the unmarked grave that is very clearly marked" while dodging Miss Vesper's wrath, Irréelle learns that being "real" takes many forms. Many predicaments resolve with remarkable ease, diminishing suspense. However, the author perceptively depicts the confusion of living with an emotionally abusive caregiver; Irréelle's love for Miss Vesper despite her cruelty is painfully realistic. The ending feels a bit too tidy, but Irréelle's newfound self-confidence is rewarding. Saunders' dark, scratchy line drawings accent the lyrical prose. Miss Vesper and Irréelle present white; the Hand appears dark-skinned, Guy is racially ambiguous, and Lass appears to be a person of color. A mildly creepy, ultimately comforting take on familiar themes of love, family, and identity. (Fantasy. 8-12) (Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10798643
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Kassner, Heather
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.1.K3717
LC item number
Bon 2019
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 7
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Saunders, Matt
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Bones
  • Dead
  • Cemeteries
  • Magic
  • Paranormal fiction
  • Bones
  • Dead
  • Cemeteries
  • Magic
  • Supernatural
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
The bone garden, Heather Kassner ; illustrations by Matt Saunders
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
2018039033
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
266 pages
Isbn
9781250296894
Lccn
2018039033
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1110578620
Label
The bone garden, Heather Kassner ; illustrations by Matt Saunders
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
2018039033
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
266 pages
Isbn
9781250296894
Lccn
2018039033
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1110578620

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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      30.2982508 -97.7675915
    • Ruiz BranchBorrow it
      1600 Grove Blvd., Austin, TX, 78741, US
      30.2298616 -97.7070109
    • Spicewood Springs BranchBorrow it
      8637 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin, TX, 78759, US
      30.4337083 -97.7730809
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