SKELETON MAN by Joseph Bruchac

SKELETON MAN

Age Range: 10 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Bruchac (The Journal of Jesse Smoke, p. 655, etc.) sets this short nail-biter, based on a Mohawk legend—about a man with an appetite so insatiable that he eats himself down to bones, then goes after his relatives—in modern New York state. Despite her protests, when Molly’s parents suddenly disappear, she’s handed over to a tall, thin stranger claiming to be her great-uncle. Molly can’t convince anyone, except a sympathetic but powerless teacher, that she’s in danger. But as she is locked into her new room each night, seldom catches even a glimpse of her captor’s face, and discovers that he has a closed-circuit TV camera trained on her door, she recalls a scary tale her Mohawk father tells. She also begins having strange dreams: of being pursued, and of a rabbit who offers warnings and guidance. Those dreams turn real when she escapes, finds her parents imprisoned in an adjoining building, then leads her captor on a desperate run through dark woods to a (perhaps final) confrontation on a high, rickety bridge. Bruchac adds believable details, vigorously cranks up the suspense, and pits a deliciously ghastly creature who likes to play with his food against a resourceful young heroine who draws both on courage and cultural tradition to come out on top. A natural for under-the-blanket reading. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-029075-7
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2001




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