The Bones in the Cliff

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by James Stevenson. (Greenwillow, 1995 ISBN 0688137458. Paperback. Library Binding.). Novel. Grades 3+.
This review by Carol Otis Hurst first appeared in Teaching K-8 Magazine April 1995.
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Review

We know that James Stevenson is good at anything he turns his hand to from New Yorker cartoons to Grandpa to picture book memoirs so the success of The Bones in the Cliff is no surprise. It's not deep, earth shaking literature either, but it's a good introduction to the adventure/mystery genre. Pete and his father are on the run, though Pete's not sure why. They're now on an island off the east coast, maybe Nantucket. Pete has become friends with Rootie, a girl summering on the island with her grandmother. Together Pete and Rootie watch the daily ferries hoping they'll never see the man Pete's father has warned them will come. Pete's father is a drunk and his mother has been institutionalized. He doesn't have much going for him, but Rootie helps him find the strength he needs to do what he has to when the time comes and the stranger arrives. Good reading - good suspense.


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