Bone by Jeff Smith

Bone is a surprising read.  It starts out rather silly, following the Bone cousins Fone, Smiley and Phoney in their adventures after being kicked out of Boneville.  Phoney Bone, the master of terrible schemes, was run out of Boneville.   His cousins followed him because the three are a family; they look out for one another.  Soon Fone gets separated from Smiley and Phoney, and has to survive on his own in the valley during the winter.  There he meets Thorn and Gran’ma Ben, who agree to help him find his cousins once winter ends.

But all is not well within the valley.  The rat men grow bolder, preparing to wage war against the humans who defeated them years ago.  The rat men are also searching for the bone creature with a star on its chest, putting the three Bone cousins at the center of everything going on in the valley.

Jeff Smith’s art style also really adds to the fun.  The Bone cousins are really cartoony looking, which is in stark contrast to many of the backgrounds of the panels.  Kit Steinkellner, author of the blog Books Are My Boyfriends describes Bone as “Charlie Brown meets Lord of the Rings,” and this is most apparent from the art.

Bone starts out as a light and fun read, then slowly becomes epic in scope.  Overall, it has a fantastic story that people of all ages will enjoy.

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