Review: The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter

03 April 2014

Title: The Kneebone Boy7952209
Author: Ellen Potter
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: September 14th 2010

Life in a small town can be pretty boring when everyone avoids you like the plague. But after their father unwittingly sends them to stay with an aunt who’s away on holiday, the Hardscrabble children take off on an adventure that begins in the seedy streets of London and ends in a peculiar sea village where legend has it a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal. . . .
In this wickedly dark, unusual, and compelling novel, Ellen Potter masterfully tells the tale of one deliciously strange family and a secret that changes everything.

Special thanks to my bestie and blogger mate Barbara for being the most awesome friend in the whole wide world and buying me this book.
Love you!

Ok, onwards to review

This Book!!!

I can't explain to you how much I loved it.
There are books that exist just to be read in those nights when you need something a little dark but a little cozy, and this is that kind of book.
The mystery and macabre will compel you to read it but as with all things there is more than one side of the story.

The story begins with  the Hardscrabble kids.
Otto, Lucya and Max (in that order)

They are the outcasts of their little town, nobody is being mean, but they are treated like leapers. No one bothers with them, and they are fine with that.
Their father is a painter, he paints  fallen royalty (awesome right) and is often out of the country doing it. Bringing home rough sketches and amazing story's
The children are used to it, the only thing absent in their cozy little world is their mother who is missing, or dead depending on who you ask (but we will stick to missing)

Things start to move forward when their father called on urgent business doesn't check on the person supposed to take care of them.
 So begins the adventure that will start in London but end in a small quaint village.


"The strange boy without words"

The oldest of the siblings also the tallest, the oddball of the group.
He doesn't speak words, instead signs with his hands words that only his siblings fully understand.
Finder of lost things.
He loves to collect strange and unusual things.
Then there is the thing with his scarf, which he never takes of, no matter the season or occasion, even to bed.
Out of all his siblings the one who he is most connected to is his sister Lucya.
He is the pivotal point of the story and gains the most at the end of it.


"You pronounce it Lu-CHEE-aSay it a few times out loud and you'll forget about Lucy-a"

The middle child, also the impromptu mother. She often speaks in a loud voice and feels the need to know everything, but loves her brothers anyhow.

The instigator of adventure.
She is closest to Otto,  they have no secrets among themselves. She loves hearing fathers stories the most and often draws strength from the characters in them.
She and Max grew closer thought the story albeit they still fight  like cats and dogs.


"Max understood quite a bit, because he was fairly clever and extremely noisy"

Youngest kid and the cleverest ( he knows it)
He is pretty much left to his own devices, and often brings home “friends” but they don’t stick for long (unfortunately)
The thinker of the group, he is the one that uncovers most of the mysteries throughout the book (a young Sherlock Holmes, more like Artemis Fowl!)
Misses his mother the most.
He gets closer to his siblings, does some serious thinking and discovers the goodness that are Pixy Stix

This book was deliciously fun, also funny, very funny you will laugh out loud on several occasions.
Don’t let the fact that this is a children's book fool you, it is very readable as an adult also.
It is essentially a coming of age tale, as they always are. You will be enthralled by the antics of the siblings. It will take you right back to your own childhood, and we all need moments like this to connect to our inner child, right?

Would I recommend this book to your precious spawn?
Of course.
Would I recommend It to you?
Hell yeah I would!
There are some parts in this book that I cannot describe (spoilers, you know) but they deal with some adult stuff well worth the read.

“People should have all their big adventures while they're still under the age of fourteen. If you don't, you start to lose your passion for big adventures. It just begins to fade away bit by bit and then you forget you ever wanted adventures in the first place.” 

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous cover.
Done by the super talented Jason Chan.
It depicts the Hardscrabbles exactly as I imagined them.
Well done!

If you look hard enough you might catch some plot :)

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Angel (Spare Reads)April 4, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    Sounds interesting. The cover is super cool and feels so comic-ish, which is why I totally mistook this as a comic. But now I know better :P

  2. this sounds interesting and the cover is beautiful. I hope my library have it.

  3. Eeeekkkk! I want to read this book so bad! I've seen other covers that awesome designer did and I have to say, I want to read them all, just because of the covers.