Staff Book Review: Bone’s Gift

Thanks to Teen Services Manager Katelyn Wolfe for sharing her thoughts on this young adult novel!

Bone’s Gift by Angie Smibert is the first book in the young adult series Ghosts of Ordinary Objects. The book follows 12-year-old Bone, who lives in a rural Virginia mining town during World War II. With her Mama dead and her Daddy drafted, she isn’t sure who to talk to about the strange and troubling note she finds in her pocket that reads, “the gift killed your mother.” Bone has the mysterious gift of sensing the stories left behind on random objects like old coins, sweaters, and arrowheads, and she feels the weight of the emotions they experienced. Many of Bone’s family members have their own gifts, but not everyone in her family believes that the gifts are good. Can Bone find out the truth about her Mama before she discovers the danger of her own gift?

I quickly became immersed in Bone’s world and stories, and I was delighted by her love of local folklore. Although I have lived in Appalachia my entire life, I have only heard or read a few local folk tales. Bone’s Gift sparked my curiosity to read more stories that bring our regional history to life. I would love to offer this book for a teen book club someday, and use it to talk about Appalachian folk tales such as Jack Tales, Forever Boy, and Cherokee legends.

I highly recommend Bone’s Gift to fans of historical fiction, magical realism, or to younger teen readers who aren’t sure what to pick out in the teen area. This series would be perfect for fans of Robert Beatty’s Serafina or Willa of the Wood series. However, this book shouldn’t be limited to a young adult audience! Anyone interested in Appalachian literature or our regional storytelling initiatives will enjoy this book. And after you devour Bone’s Gift, pick up the second book in the series, Lingering Echoes, in the library’s teen area. The third book, The Truce, is anticipated to be released in the spring of 2020.

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Your library’s staff members love giving book recommendations! If you need something new to read, let us know and we can help you find books and authors that are perfect for you. Call 423-434-4450, visit, or drop by the library at 100 W. Millard St. to talk with a librarian. We’re also continually highlighting and recommending books on Facebook and Instagram, so follow us!

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