Title: Bone, Volume 1: Out of Boneville
Author: Jeff Smith
Publication Year: 2005
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fiction
Source: Borrowed from the library at school
I’ve heard about the Bone series before, particularly when teachers discuss graphic novels in the classroom and getting reluctant readers (particularly boys) to pick something up and enjoy it. Last semester, the “literacy” courses at my school both read this book, and even the toughest, most anti-reading students loved it!
Given this vote of confidence by the students and their teacher, I decided to give the first book of the series a go. I wasn’t disappointed! We are introduced to three cousins in Bone, Volume 1: Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone. Phoney Bone has gotten them run out of Boneville, their hometown, and he is absolutely obsessed with money (a large part of the reason for their exile). Smiley Bone seems to be a little frazzled and disorganized all the time, getting them lost and just generally making things interesting. Fone Bone seems to be the most level-headed of the group, and he’s the one who we follow throughout almost the entire book.
The book opens with the three Bone cousins already kicked out of Boneville, discussing what they are going to do. They are soon separated, and each of the three cousins encounters some problems in the idyllic valley they reach: Fone Bone, who we follow along with, encounters some rather scary characters, but also some new friends.
I don’t want to tell you any more than that, but suffice it to say, Bone is hilarious. The dialogue and graphics keep you entertained and engaged in the story, hoping to see the Bones safe, sound, and reunited. This is geared towards students nearing the end of elementary school, but the students at my school (ranging from 14-20 years old) also loved it. The vocabulary was simple enough for them to read and be able to follow without having to ask for help constantly, which made them feel really good. It was nice to hear them talking about how they were excited to see what would happen next!
Definitely something I recommend for the young and the young-at-heart. I’m going to be continuing on and reading the remainder of the series.