The Summer of the Bonepile Monster

Aileen Kilgore Henderson, Author, Kim Cooper, Illustrator Milkweed Editions $15.95 (137p) ISBN 978-1-57131-603-5
This first novel serves up a flabby horror-story plot alongside a flimsy lesson in self-reliance. Hollis and his sister spend a suspenseful season at their great-grandmother's house in rural Alabama while their parents try to ``work things out'' at home (the reader never does learn what the parents decide); meanwhile, Hollis investigates the Bonepile Hollow, a place filled with the bones of prehistoric whales (or ``zeuglodons''). ``Nothing that goes down that road [to the Hollow] ever comes out,'' he is warned. The ``monster'' of the haunted forest is all too human; Hollis receives a further shock when he learns of his own family's involvement in the small-town nightmare. Henderson throws in a surprising amount of violence while paying short shrift to plausibility, and the connection between the Bonepile horror and Hollis's anguish about his parents remains tenuous. Ages 8-12. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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