Kate Milford,
The Boneshaker
(Clarion, 2010)

Arcane, Missouri, is at a crossroads where, if Natalie Minks' mother is correct, a local musician fought the Devil for his soul. The town's aptly named, because odd things happen there -- for instance, the left front wheel of any vehicle coming through will somehow get wrecked.

Our heroine, Natalie Minks, is a junior grease monkey fascinated with all things mechanical and in particular the Wright Brothers recent attempts at flight. She works with her father in his garage and is building an automata (mechanical model) of the Wright Brothers' plane.

When a mysterious medicine show arrives in town, Natalie is suspicious. She has a right to be. Dr. Limberleg's got some kind of power. He can make her automata move without the key. He can cure any ail, but will that cure last? When Natalie's family is preoccupied with her mom's illness, she sets out to find out about the medicine show and realizes it's up to her to save the town.

Kate Milford does an amazing job of crafting deep characters with fascinating twists. Paired with Andrea Offerman's deft illustrations, The Boneshaker's not just a book you want to read -- it's a keeper.

review by
Becky Kyle

12 June 2010

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new