STARRED REVIEW
May 2012

Seeking truth in a Florida swamp

By Mika Ashley-Hollinger
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Bones has everything she needs to be happy. It’s 1949 and 10-year-old Bones lives on the edge of a Florida swamp with her father Nolay, her mama Honey Girl and an assortment of animals, including her pig, Pearl. Nicknamed “Precious Bones” by her Grandma Spot, she spends her days helping around the house, in school or with her best friend, Little Man. Her world is turned upside down, however, when a Yankee real estate agent goes missing and is eventually found dead. Nolay, who ran the man off his land only a day earlier, becomes the number-one suspect in the murder, and even Bones thinks he might be guilty.

Bones and Little Man decide that the only way to save her father from going to jail is to solve the mystery of who really killed the Yankee, before the bumbling Sheriff LeRoy makes things worse. Bones sets out to find the truth, looking for clues, talking to her friend Mr. Speed, who sits outside of the General Store all day, and trying to avoid the terrifying Soap Sally, who kidnaps children and turns them into soap, and who may or may not be real.

Written by first-time author Mika Ashley-Hollinger, who grew up in Florida, Precious Bones is a novel filled with adventure and mystery, as well as fascinating glimpses of its distinctive setting. Precious Bones allows readers to see deep into a lifestyle that most people have never experienced, and meet wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) characters completely unique to this story. Readers who step into Bones’ swamp will find it very hard to leave.

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Precious Bones

Precious Bones

By Mika Ashley-Hollinger
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780385742191

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