cover image Bone Talk

Bone Talk

Candy Gourlay. Scholastic/Fickling, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-338-34963-4

In 1899, Samkad, part of the Bontoc tribe in the Philippines, is preparing for a rite of passage when a snake attack delays the ceremony. In order for the rite to proceed, he must find a boy, Kinyo, whose soul is tied to his own. Once Kinyo is found, though, new complications arise. Wearing Western-style clothing and speaking fluent English, Kinyo arrives with his aunt and Mister William, a white American. The group shares the news of Kinyo’s burnt village and a war fought against American invaders. Touching upon timely subjects, such as cultural assimilation and prejudice, Gourlay (Shine) writes with graphic frankness about the realities of war and violence (“I could feel the soft heat swiftly dissipating, turning the warm, living flesh into cold, unyielding meat... my knees were dripping. Blood”). Steeped in Filipino tradition, this richly historic coming-of-age novel shows readers a rare view of the Philippines on the brink of American colonization. Ages 10–14. [em](Nov.) [/em]