Bone Talk
Bone Talk
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Annotation: A coming-of-age story set at the end of the 19th century in a remote village in the Philippines finds a young man confronting a separation from his reluctant best friend before unknown American enemies bring war and destruction.
Catalog Number: #190428
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 255 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-338-34963-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-338-34963-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018493740
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
On the day Samkad is to be declared a man, his father saves him from a snake's bite. The village elders interpret this as an omen that the ceremony must be delayed until Samkad finds Kinyo, a boy who is bound to his soul. His father reveals that Samkad's dead mother's truest friend had a son named Kinyo, who was sent to live with the lowlanders. The search for Kinyo puts Samkad on a collision course with a new enemy ericans armed with guns for a war from across the sea. Set in the early-twentieth-century Philippines, Gourlay's book vibrantly captures the initial encounter between native peoples and those who would colonize them. The crux of the story lies in Samkad's realization that his father is merely a person with his own fears and foibles. The boy's experiences outside his village are cruel and violent, allowing him to gain empathy for the choices his father made for him. This is a lush, compassionate tale of growing up, taking place in a rarely visited historical setting.
Publishers Weekly
In 1899, Samkad, part of the Bontoc tribe in the Philippines, is preparing for a rite of passage when a snake attack delays the ceremony. In order for the rite to proceed, he must find a boy, Kinyo, whose soul is tied to his own. Once Kinyo is found, though, new complications arise. Wearing Western-style clothing and speaking fluent English, Kinyo arrives with his aunt and Mister William, a white American. The group shares the news of Kinyo-s burnt village and a war fought against American invaders. Touching upon timely subjects, such as cultural assimilation and prejudice, Gourlay (Shine) writes with graphic frankness about the realities of war and violence (-I could feel the soft heat swiftly dissipating, turning the warm, living flesh into cold, unyielding meat... my knees were dripping. Blood-). Steeped in Filipino tradition, this richly historic coming-of-age novel shows readers a rare view of the Philippines on the brink of American colonization. Ages 10-14. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
Gr 57 Centering on a small mountain village in the Philippines at the end of the 19th century, this novel is an unparalleled story of one boy's journey towards manhood and knowledge of the world beyond. Samkad and Little Luki are best friends. They do everything together, from playing tricks on the ancients to rambling through the forests that surround their home. But things are about to change. Samkad has been chosen to become a man, and Luki is jealous. She will never hold a spear or become a warrior because she's a girl. Yet on the eve of the ceremony, things begin to go terribly wrong. Father hastens away in search of a boy Samkad once knew, and returns with news of the lowlanders, "Americans," and war. Everything changes, and before long Samkad and Luki must show what they are truly capable of. In a genre full of coming-of-age stories, Gourlay brings a new and authentic voice to the table with this story about native people living in the Philippine mountains prior to the Philippine-American war. For many readers, it may be an unfamiliar period in history, full of rich traditions and practices. Yet these distinct triumphs and tragedies succeed in heightening readers' empathy for a people devastated by violence and change. VERDICT This title presents a captivating story about the strength of heritage and community. Likely to do well among young readers interested in untold stories of the past. Rebecca Redinger, Lincoln Park Branch, Chicago Public Library
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (10/1/19)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (11/1/19)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 3-6

Dear Reader, The U.S. really did invade my native Philippines in 1899. Research was hard because that period was mostly written up, not by Filipinos, but by Americans, as tourists & conquerors. Some things in my book might shock you. War is shocking. Unfamiliar culture is shocking too. But it would have been disrespectful for me to edit out the beliefs of my characters. BONE TALK is for older middle grade (OMG!) interested in identity, culture clash, colonialism and erased/forgotten histories.

It will be enjoyed by fans of:

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Candy Gourlay

Excerpted from Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal (UK)Shortlisted for the Costa Prize (UK)Sunday Times Children's Book of the WeekThe Guardian Book of the MonthThe Times Books of the Year"Hotly Anticipated Historical Fiction for Young Adults"

It is 1899. Ten year old Samkad thinks he knows everything about the world. He knows that home is in the mountains. He knows who his friends and his enemies are. And he knows that he will grow up to become a warrior like his dad, with his own shield, spear and axe.His best friend is Little Luki and she too wants to become a warrior - though there's little chance of that because she is just a girl.Then strangers arrive: a boy with many languages in his throat ... and weird-looking men called Americans who bring war and death.Set during the U.S. invasion of the Philippines.Endorsed by Amnesty International: "Amnesty International endorses Bone Talk because it upholds many human rights, including our rights to life, to equality, to have a religion, to enjoy our own culture. It also shows us what can happen when these are taken away from us."

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