Milford, Kate. The Boneshaker
Clarion see Houghton Mifflin 2010 372p 17.00
978-0-547-24187-6 ms/hs Supernatural VG-BN
Crossroads mean choices must be made. This is very true of the crossroads outside the town of Arcane, Missouri in 1913. Natalie’s love of machinery lead her to investigate the strange supernatural events that occur when a medicine show makes the choice to come to town. This is a story of family, courage, and facing your problems.
Strange things happen at the crossroads outside of Arcane, Missouri. The old village is now just a ghost town. The new town of Arcane started up just down the road. Ted Mink runs a bicycle shop and repair shop. According to Natalie her father can fix anything. He even built her a mechanical toy and a fabulous bicycle the likes of which has not ever been seen inside the town limits. There is, however, one problem. Natalie doesn’t know how to ride her brand new bike.
After Dr. Jake Limeberleg’s Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show chooses to stop in Arcane, strange events start happening. All sorts of things seem to result from Dr. Jake’s perpetual motion machines. Natalie’s interests in automata and mechanical toys make her the prime person to solve the mysteries created when the medicine show came to town with it’s unusual contingent of characters.
The author has written a fast paced novel that blends fantasy, supernatural elements, magical events, and some realism in this first novel by Kate Milford. This will appeal to readers of steampunk fiction. This is a very well written book that will relate well to many young readers.
It is recommended as a basic book for any upper middle/high school library. It would make an excellent selection for a basic books list for school libraries. McNeil, Linda