The Bag of Bones: The Second Tale from the Five Kingdoms
The Bag of Bones: The Second Tale from the Five Kingdoms

Series: Tales from the Five Kingdoms Vol. 2   

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Annotation: After putting a spell on the good witches of Wadington, Truda Hangnail is determined to return with her evil Deep Magic to seize Queen Bluebell's throne for herself in order to have total rule over the whole of the Five Kingdoms.
Catalog Number: #4055756
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2009
Illustrator: Collins, Ross,
Pages: 247 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-4255-X
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-4255-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2008938423
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The Tales from the Five Kingdoms series returns with the story of Trueheart (that is, very good person) Gracie Gillypot, identical twin princes, talking bats, and a slow but brave troll. The witches who tried to wreak havoc in the first tale (The Robe of Skulls, 2008) are back, and readers will also be introduced to a nasty orphanage overseer and a pack of friendly rats. Collins' spidery black-and-white illustrations amplify characters' inner traits as well as the tall-tale nature of the story. Readers of the first book won't likely be disappointed by this fractured fairy-tale follow-up.
Horn Book
In this sequel to The Robe of Skulls, orphans, trolls, witches, and other classic characters again come together in humorous fashion, as the ill-intentioned Truda Hangnail threatens the kingdom with banned Deep Magic. Characters with names such as Gubble, Doily, and Mrs. Cringe populate the pages of French's tale, in which the laughs are plentiful and the ending is, of course, happy.
Kirkus Reviews
The Five Kingdoms almost come in for a spot of trouble in this airy sequel to Robe of Skulls (2008), when a witch from beyond the More Enchanted Forest arrives with evil intentions and a bagful of forbidden Deep Magic. Having cast spells over both the ineffectual local witches and nearly all the local rats, Truda Hangnail looks for a while to have a lock on extorting octogenarian Queen Bluebell XVIII to declare her the royal successor. Hangnail doesn't reckon on having to face levelheaded Gracie Gillypot and young Loobly, an escapee from the harsh Orphanage—both of whom are Truehearts whose very presence makes evil magic go awry and who have the help of an energetic pair of talking bats, a dimwitted but determined troll, a helpful prince or two and other allies. Fans of Jean Ferris's Once Upon a Marigold (2002) and like light fare will be much amused by all the dashing about, the quick brushes with danger and the undercurrents of budding, clumsy romance. (Fantasy. 10-13)
School Library Journal
Gr 46 After their first tantalizing adventure in The Robe of Skulls (Candlewick, 2008), Gracie, Prince Marcus, Marlon the talking bat, and Gubble the Troll are tapped once again to restore peace in The Five Kingdoms. Like its predecessor, this story captivates readers with its hilarity, action, and touch of romance. Deep magic is afoot, with an evil witch, Truda Hangnail, trying to scheme her way to becoming Queen in Wadingburn. Loobly Dirty, an orphan, sees Truda shrink her "Auntie," head of the infamously ineffectual but good witches of Wadingburn, and her coven down to rat size. Meanwhile, Gracie is staying with the Ancient Crones, who send her and faithful Gubble out to try to fix the Deep Magic stain that is quickly spreading on their magic web. Through several meandering paths, all the returning heroes and the newest ones, Loobly, her rat friends, and Alf, come together to defeat the Deep Magic. Readers unfamiliar with the first book may not understand all of the plot and character interactions, but they will find this an amusing jaunt to a land in which good is rewarded and evil is punished. Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Word Count: 39,786
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 130873 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:10.0 / quiz:Q47068
Lexile: 740L
Guided Reading Level: S
Fountas & Pinnell: S
Chapter One

"Wheeeeee!" The small bat did a double backip, then a twist, and landed neatly on the branch below.

"Did you see me, Uncle Marlon? Did you SEE me?" Alf squeaked.

"Shh!" The older bat apped a warning wing. "Button up, kiddo. We’ve got company." He stared into the night.

"Hmph. It’s those dames from Wadingburn."

The small bat’s eyes widened.

"The witches? Oh, Uncle Marlon! Can we stay ’n’ watch? Will they do
scary spells?"

"They’re no big deal, kiddo."

The older bat settled
back on his branch.

"Deep Magic’s not allowed in the Five Kingdoms. This lot are Shallow, through and through. Couldn’t magic a bird off a branch. But keep mum, all the same. You don’t want to end up in a pot. Your ma’ll kill me if I bring you back half-boiled."

The small bat shivered, half in fear, half with plea

"Okeydokey, Uncle M."

And he froze into stillness as he watched the line of women, varying in shape and size but all dressed in black, making their way into the clearing at the top of Wadingburn Hill. Limping at the end of the line was the small, skinny fgure of a girl, her head bent tenderly over the bundle in her arms. As the witches hurried here and there, collecting frewood and setting up the old and dented black cauldron, she slipped away and settled herself at the foot of the tree where the two bats hung motionless. Softly she began to croon to the bundled-up object she was holding, rocking it gently to and fro.

"Loobly Higgins!" said a terrible voice. "What on
EARTH do you think you’re doing?"

Loobly jumped. "N-n-n-nothing, Auntie," she

The Grand High Witch of Wadingburn took a step closer. "Did my eyes deceive me, or were you KISSING that rat?"

Loobly shook her head so hard that her long, stringy hair broke loose from its ribbon and fell over her thin little face. "Wasn’t kissing it," she whispered.

"Not kissing. Just telling sorry. Sorry it be picklifed."

The Grand High Witch sighed in exasperation. "It’ll be no use now. No use at all. How many times do I have to tell you to leave my ingredients alone?"

"Sorry, Auntie Levangeline. Loobly hear you. Loobly very sorry." Loobly pushed the hair out of her eyes and looked up hopefully. "If no use, can Loobly keep he?"

"Certainly NOT!" The witch was on the point of snatching the rat away when she was distracted by the sound of cackling laughter. Instantly forgetting Loobly, she turned to see her fie fellow witches gathering around the cauldron that was now bubbling gently in the center of the clearing. At once the Grand High Witch drew herself to her full height and strode forward to greet them.

"Dear Mrs. Cringe! I’m so glad you’re with us tonight! And Mrs. Vibble and Mrs. Prag as well. Fabulous! And darling Ms. Scurrilous is here too! And Mrs. . . ."

The Grand High Witch faltered for a moment. What was the name of the hunched old witch on the far side of the fire? Even with the flames now burning brightly under the cauldron, it was too dark to see her face. It certainly wasn’t Mrs. Gabbage, and Ms. Pettigroan had sent a bat earlier that evening with polite apologies. Mrs. Cringe shufed up, looking distinctly guilty, and the Grand High Witch’s heart sank. Even worse, her little toe had begun to throb, which was a far more reliable warning of impending trouble. She had always been wary of Mrs. Cringe, not least because she was known to have relations outside the Five Kingdoms who were suspected of indulging in Deep Magic of the nastiest kind.


Excerpted from The Bag of Bones: The Second Tale from the Five Kingdoms by Vivian French
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.

Hold on to your head for this funny and fast-paced second Tale from the Five Kingdoms, a follow-up to The Robe of Skulls.

When the quill writes GO GO GO frantically on the wall, and the House of the Ancient Crones heaves Gracie Gillypot outside onto the path, it can mean only one thing: there’s Trouble in the Five Kingdoms. This time it’s in the form of a beady-eyed, green-tongued witch named Truda Hangnail, who with her banished Deep Magic has vowed to succeed Queen Bluebell on the throne. Now that her horrible spell has shrunk the good witches of Wadington to the size of, well, rats, can anything stop her? Will the strengths, smarts, and charms of a spunky trueheart, a sweet-natured orphan, a scruffy prince, a substantial troll, and two squabbling bats be enough to foil her insidious plot?

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