Bone: The Complete Series by Jeff Smith

The Bone series was one of the “books” Debi put on her challenge list for me to read this year.  I say “books” because Debi cheated. Debi knew she cheated. “Books” really meant NINE books. Which was perfectly fine with me, because once I read the first one, I was totally hooked. I did not want to stop. The Bone series is a pure joy to read from the first page of the very first book, to the absolute last page of the very last book.

The Bone series follows, Phoney Bone, Fone Bone, and Smiley Bone, three cousins who have been chased out of Boneville-well, actually Phoney Bone has been chased out of Boneville-Smiley and Fone Bone just came along to help Phoney escape. Phoney is exactly what his name says, a Phoney, and he tried to swindle the Bones of Boneville one too many times. They get lost along the way, in a vast desert, and manage to get separated when a locust storm overtakes them. Fone Bone calls down a deep ravine and inadvertently wakes a red dragon. (The dragon is hilarious. I loved him.) The dragon follows Fone Bone as he heads towards a verdant valley that Fone Bone never knew exist. (Yes, I could call him just Fone, but it just doesn’t sound right to me!) There, after surviving the winter, he meets Thorn and Grandma Ben, and the adventures really begin.

That is just at tiny taste (and an inadequate one at that) of the awesomeness that is Bone. I loved Bone. I adored Bone. I want to marry Bone and have it’s children. Okay, that’s a little too far, but seriously, I loved it. It has been over a month since I plowed through all nine books and I find still find myself thinking about the story, the characters, the in jokes (Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures!!!), the gorgeous gorgeous art, and more. This story is so many things. Adventure. Coming of age. Road trip. Love. Loyalty. Destiny. Friendship. Finding yourself. Trust.  It’s dark. It’s funny. It’s epic.

Oh, I could go on and on.

And the art. The art! Did I mention the art?

The art is beautiful. Every panel is gorgeous. I grew up reading all my dad’s old comics from the 50s and 60s and Bone, to me, felt like a bit of a throw-back to those old comics. And it only added to my love. If you have never read a graphic novel and have been curious to try them, Bone is the PERFECT place to start. It is fun to read with lots of heart with truly gorgeous art to look at. And I think it would be great for children.

Thank you Debi and your cheating ways!

(Incidentally you CAN buy all nine books in one, as the ISBN I reference below, but it’s not in color so I actually don’t recommend it. Spurge and get all nine. It is totally worth it.)

(Also, you will never look at quiche the same way again.)

(For that matter, rats won’t either.)

Other opinions:

Nymeth from Things Mean a Lot:

Another reason why I loved Bone was because it really shows what comics can do as a medium. This story couldn’t be anything else. The art is so expressive – it does so much for the worldbuilding and characterization. It is the worldbuilding and characterization.

Kimberly from Stacked:

Bone is a delightful mix of humor, action, and real emotion.  I appreciated the recurring gags Smith included throughout. … If you’ve yet to pick up this series, do yourself a favor and see what the kids love so much.  Bone is a great example of what kid lit should be: fun, funny, and meaningful.

Beth Fish Reads:

The interactions and contrasts among the three cousins offer good dynamics, and Thorn and her grandmother are great characters. … The full-color drawings are absolutely brilliant. I am particularly taken with the characters’ faces—from the monsters to the baby possums—and the eyes and the general expressions are fantastic.

Bone by Jeff Smith
Published by Scholastic
Graphic Novels, Paperback
ISBN (for one volume edition): 188896314X
Important Info: Winner of 11 Harvey Awards and 10 Eisner Awards including Best Cartoonist and Best Humor Publication, as well as being named Best Comic Book by the National Cartoonists Society. BONE has also won multiple international awards in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Finland and Norway.

9 thoughts on “Bone: The Complete Series by Jeff Smith

  1. I knew you'd thank me for cheating. 😀 But seriously, Heather, I am so very, very happy that you enjoyed them so much! And you know what–you made me want to read them all over again. Really. You did. And you know what? Now you have to read Rose!

  2. You are missing Tall Tales and Rose… So, you are not done. 🙂

    And, well, there is a new series starting, but I was not a huge fan of it because it is more writing than pictures…

  3. Hi I am really looking forward to A tenth bone book besides rose that just tells about rose Ben but I am looking forward to real tenth bone
    Does anybody know the release date?

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