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Sally’s Bones by MacKenzie Cadenhead and Illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Pages: 192
Ages: 8-12

Publishers Summary:

2 Months, 28 Days, 9 Hours, and 12 minutes earlier…

Sally Simplesmith’s life changed forever. She came face-to-face with death – a delightful, dearly departed little dog she lovingly calls Bones. But when the cadaverous canine is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Sally decides to solve the case herself!

Does Sally have what it takes to fetch a thief?

Sally’s Bones is the impossibly possible tale of a girl, a crime, and a lovably lifeless, decidedly dead dog.

After the death of her mother Sally’s left with a father who can barely string words together to form sentences. Both find ways to cope with her loss, but when Sally can no longer take the loneliness her mother left behind she turns back to a promise made before her passing. In keeping with the promise Sally inherits a companion, a very odd companion, but one that will change her life forever. Bones. A skeletal dog who wants nothing more than Sally’s love and a good home. What happens when the rest of the town discovers Bones is another thing entirely.

Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve read a middle grade book that completely grabbed me the way only a few adult & YA novels do, but Sally’s Bones absolutely did. When I finished the story I set it down with a huge grin on my face and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I enjoyed reading Sally’s story. From the plot to the characters, every part of the story was well developed and came to life as you turned the pages. This is absolutely a story I’m keeping around to share with Littlebug and Turkeybird as they get older.

What was so wonderful about the story was that though it had “supernatural elements” (a skeletal dog) it also had a young girl who was so much like the rest of us at that age. Though not all of us experience the loss of a parent at such a young age I think the thing most every reader will relate to is that feeling of not fitting in at one point or another in their lives. In middle school it’s especially hard, because if you don’t fit in from the start it can be difficult to find your place. What Sally’s Bones does in a short period of time is not only explore that aspect, but also the idea that though you fit in it may not be where you want to be.

Of course, I absolutely loved Sally’s little dog Bones! He’s adorable. It’s easy to see why Sally would go to the lengths she does to keep him protected, especially after the loss of her mom. Her dad’s involvement was another thing that was a great addition to the story, because you could tell how much he loved his little girl but was still trying to cope with the loss of his wife.

Overall, Sally’s Bones is the kind of story you read as an adult that has you reflecting on your own middle school years and has you rushing out to buy copies for every tween you know. This was the perfect blend of paranormal and reality to make it a great read for young readers; one they’ll enjoy and be eager for more. I’m definitely hoping there’s a sequel in Sally & Bones’ future and am excited to read more from Mackenzie Cadenhead as she writes more books for young readers. Sally’s Bones is a story about acceptance, individuality, loss and triumph that’s filled with a bit of mystery readers will love!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 7 and up. Young and old will fall in love with Sally and her skeletal little friend Bones. Especially perfect for tween readers who feel a little “out of place” in their surroundings.

Find Sally’s Bones by MacKenzie Cadenhead at the following spots:
Powell’s Books
Indiebound
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Thank you so much to the publisher, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter and on Facebook!
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8 Responses to Book Review: Sally’s Bones by MacKenzie Cadenhead

  1. Joanna says:

    Danielle your enthusiasm has sold me on this one. Sally Bones is being added to my to buy list. Actually I now want to get to know Bones as much as Sally πŸ˜‰

    • Bones is just as amazing as Sally in the story. I love everything about it, the entire story is so well balanced and despite the “dead” dog it’s very realistic. Loved it! I hope you enjoy it too! πŸ™‚

  2. carol says:

    Sounds like a great one to read with my daughter. Thanks for the review. I hadn’t heard of it before.

  3. Charlotte says:

    I’m adding this one to my list too! Thanks.

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