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Smith, Jeff. Bone #1: out from Boneville.

SMITH, Jeff. Bone #1: out from Boneville. Scholastic. 144p. illus. c2005. 0-439-70640-8. $9.99. JSA *

This is the first volume of a fantasy epic starring the Bone cousins--Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone--who leave Boneville rather quickly after Phoney Bone's campaign for mayor, which involves 50-foot balloons and bad prunes, causes a riot. Separated by a swarm of locusts, the Bones--who look like a cross between Snoopy and Casper the Ghost--find themselves in a valley populated by strange and wondrous creatures. Fone Bone (our hero) is pursued by a pair of rat creatures who want to kill and eat him, preferably baked in a quiche. He is protected by a fire-breathing red dragon, who has his reasons. After meeting a garrulous talking bug named Ted, Fone Bone makes the acquaintance of two humans, the beautiful Thorn (our heroine) and her grandmother, Grandma Ben. Together they travel to the town of Barrelhaven, and Fone Bone is reunited with his cousins, who (in the grand tradition of freeloaders) have been pressed into service washing dishes at the village inn. However, all is not well: the rat creatures are massing for war, and a mysterious hooded figure wants Phoney Bone's soul ...

Bone: Out From Boneville is the best graphic novel series of the past 20 years; the only two works in this genre that come close are Sandman and Calvin & Hobbes. If you are a librarian who works with graphic novels, you most likely have heard of Bone, and it deserves every bit of praise it gets. The series is being reissued by Scholastic, in color, and is a must-buy for all libraries that do not already own it. George Galuschak, YA Libn., Montvale P.L., Montvale, NJ

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescent and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code help librarian and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Galuschak, George
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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