Book Review: Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac

HarperTrophy; Reprint ed, August, 2003
ISBN: 0064408884

Available: New and Used

    Joseph Bruchac retells a tale from the Mohawk Indians about a man who was so hungry he ate his own flesh, leaving nothing but a skeleton, and then ate the rest of his family with the exception of a young niece.   In Bruchac’s story, Molly’s parents mysteriously disappear one evening without a trace.   Molly is convinced that they will come back and maintains the illusion of going through her school day until social services finds her living at home alone and takes her into protective custody.   Molly is then introduced to a long lost uncle that she has never met or heard of, who is supposed to take care of her.   Her “uncle’ acts strangely and locks Molly in her room every night…. could this long lost uncle be the skeleton man?   Skeleton Man is a great book for younger teens.  Bruchac does a fantastic  job of building suspense through out the book and teasing the reader with the idea that Molly’s “uncle” is really the skeleton man out of Mohawk tradition.  Recommended for school libraries for upper elementary and junior high  school level reading and public libraries.    Contains: description of cannibalism. 

About Michele Lee

Michele is hard to define probably because the only dictionary nearby is English to Latin. Bibliothecam edot. A former stable hand, PTA president and bookseller, now she's a reviewer, writer, and editor. Her stories have appeared in Dark Futures and Horror Library, among others, and she recently sold her first novel, Wolf Heart. Her son and husband are very proud of her, her dog, cat and fish don't really care and her daughter has taken this as proof she, too, can be a writer. She pretends to keep a web presence at
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