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The Boneshaker

The Boneshaker Cover

ISBN13: 9780547241876
ISBN10: 0547241879
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thirteen-year-old Natalie Minks loves machines, particularly automata—self-operating mechanical devices, usually powered by clockwork. When Jake Limberleg and his traveling medicine show arrive in her small Missouri town with a mysterious vehicle under a tarp and an uncanny ability to make Natalie’s half-built automaton move, she feels in her gut that something about this caravan of healers is a bit off. Her uneasiness leads her to investigate the intricate maze of the medicine show, where she discovers a horrible truth and realizes that only she has the power to set things right.

Set in 1914, The Boneshaker is a gripping, richly textured novel about family, community, courage, and looking evil directly in the face in order to conquer it.

Review:

"Set in 1913, Milford's debut is a sure-footed, slow-burning thriller. Feisty 13-year-old Natalie has grown up in a small Missouri town located near a mysterious crossroads, listening to the local myths about it that her mother shares. When Dr. Limberleg opens the Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show, the townspeople (afraid of catching the neighboring town's flu) take to his products and team, who promote phrenology, hydrotherapy, magnetism, and amber therapy. Mechanically minded Natalie, however, is determined to get through the smoke and mirrors, and she finds that Dr. Limberleg's cures come with strings attached. 'Most people are much older when they discover their world isn't the place they thought it was,' he warns. 'By then... sometimes... it's too late.' The tale is shrouded in mystery and explores themes of gaining confidence and recognizing evil, and Milford's detail-rich prose makes it all the more haunting ('In the gaslight and what morning sun that filtered through the heavy curtains, startling shapes began to resolve themselves into familiar objects. Seeing them clearly didn't make her like them any better'). Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10 — up. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Set in 1914 and brimming with magical and steampunk elements, "The Boneshaker" is a gripping, richly textured novel about family, community, courage, and looking evil directly in the face in order to conquer it.

About the Author

Kate Milford is the author of The Boneshaker, has written for stage and screen, and is a regular travel columnist for the Nagspeake Board of Tourism and Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

crichardmicklos, June 18, 2010 (view all comments by crichardmicklos)
This book is a real treat; not a junk food fix like a Tasty Freeze cone or a Whitman Sampler, but more like scoops of Haagen-Dazs or pieces of Godiva. The publishers have determined it to be a young adult novel, but for a variety of reasons its appeal, like any classic, will be so broad that it will be read and cherished by a wide range of ages. For a novel, and especially a first one, it is extraordinary. It’s the kind of book that one wishes all young adult authors would strive to write with well fleshed-out characters (Natalie, Limberleg, the Devil, Tom), beautiful word-painted settings and personalities (descriptions of the medicine show, Limberleg’s wagon, Tom’s guitar playing, Phemonoe and The Paragons to mention a few), believable dialogue, an intricate and compelling plot, so much wisdom about the lessons one should learn in life, a wonderful blending of historical facts, scientific oddities, and story telling, and the importance of the oral tradition (I loved Mrs. Minks’ tale of Tom’s battle with the devil). Ms. Milford has combined these elements to create a magical, vibrant, exciting, and often scary world.

The language is so expressive, detailed, and well-phrased. She doesn’t resort to clichés and I found so many beautifully structured sentences. For example: “Natalie’s life was a mess of gears and yarns. If you looked closely, however (the way she loved to look at a mechanical device or a story), the tangle resolved itself into a perfectly crafted mechanism. All the parts were made to work together. In the same way that Natalie could tell when she was looking at a well-built machine, she knew her life was pretty good. Everything just fit.” This could be a good description of her book, too.

As I was reading it, I was reminded of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Not that I think that Milford modeled it after the Newbery Award winning book , but because I think that hers is as well-written as L’Engle’s and is as important in its moral grounding. L’Engle deals with the struggle of good vs. evil in a universal arena while Milford’s battles take place in a more personal, historical microcosm. I sincerely believe that Milford’s book has all the characteristics of a Newbery Award winner.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780547241876
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Subject:
Family - General
Illustrator:
Offermann, Andrea
Author:
Milford, Kate
Author:
Offermann, Andrea
Subject:
Historical - United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Horror & Ghost Stories
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20110523
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Black-and-white illustrations
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1.16 lb
Age Level:
from 9 up to 12

Related Subjects

Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » 20th Century
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Scary Stories » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General

The Boneshaker
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$ In Stock
Product details 384 pages Clarion Books - English 9780547241876 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in 1913, Milford's debut is a sure-footed, slow-burning thriller. Feisty 13-year-old Natalie has grown up in a small Missouri town located near a mysterious crossroads, listening to the local myths about it that her mother shares. When Dr. Limberleg opens the Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show, the townspeople (afraid of catching the neighboring town's flu) take to his products and team, who promote phrenology, hydrotherapy, magnetism, and amber therapy. Mechanically minded Natalie, however, is determined to get through the smoke and mirrors, and she finds that Dr. Limberleg's cures come with strings attached. 'Most people are much older when they discover their world isn't the place they thought it was,' he warns. 'By then... sometimes... it's too late.' The tale is shrouded in mystery and explores themes of gaining confidence and recognizing evil, and Milford's detail-rich prose makes it all the more haunting ('In the gaslight and what morning sun that filtered through the heavy curtains, startling shapes began to resolve themselves into familiar objects. Seeing them clearly didn't make her like them any better'). Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10 — up. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Set in 1914 and brimming with magical and steampunk elements, "The Boneshaker" is a gripping, richly textured novel about family, community, courage, and looking evil directly in the face in order to conquer it.
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