Tuesday, July 2, 2013
MG Fiction: The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.)
From GoodReads: 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 Hardscrabble children take off on an adventure that begins in the seedy streets of London and ends in a peculiar sea village where legend has it a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal. . . .
My review: I believe my opinion of The Kneebone Boy would have been different if I had read this in elementary or middle school versus in college. Back then, I think I would have found Potter's writing style enchanting and hilarious, witty and perfect for the audience. Now, however, I couldn't tell whether I was amused by the author's sense of humor and jabs at the tropes of similar books, or whether I found such shenanigans rather immature. It's a sad dilemma, really, to feel like you're too old to appreciate novels for younger readers.
I read Potter's newest novel, The Humming Room, last year. In comparison, The Kneebone Boy is written in an entirely different style, and the ending seemed perfectly paced rather than rushed. Overall, I enjoyed both books. I was particularly surprised/intrigued by the ending to The Kneebone Boy, as it is more serious and realistic than what one would expect from what at first seems to be a wacky fantasy book. It works well for the story, though, and adds deeper significance to what could otherwise be viewed as a fun but flighty read.