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January 19, 2008

Skeleton Man

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Skeleton Man

Author: Joseph Bruchac

Page Length: 114

Reading Level: 5th

Genre: Mystery, Suspense


PLOT SUMMARY: Skeleton Man is narrated by Molly, a sixth grade girl whose parent’s are Mohawk descendents.  Molly’s dad was a great storyteller and had shared a story with her about a Lazy Uncle who ate all of his own skin, thereby receiving the name, Skeleton Man.  In the story, the Skeleton Man eventually ate all of his relatives but one niece who was saved by a rabbit.


The relevance of the story comes later in the book after Molly’s parents do not return from an evening out to dinner.  Molly stayed alone at her house, waiting for their return.  After the couple was missing for a few days, her dad’s employer and the school became suspicious.  Molly was taken to Social Services where an “unknown” uncle appeared and was granted custody of Molly.


Although the uncle does not harm Molly, he does lock her in her room every night.  She is wary of his actions, so does not eat the food he leaves for her.  She has dreams in which a rabbit appears.  He gives her warnings and protects her as the rabbit did the girl in the old Mohawk folk tale.


Eventually, Molly tells Mrs. Shabbas, a teacher, her fears.  Mrs. Shabbas was my favorite character in the book because she became involved in helping Molly.  She believed her when the other adults didn’t.


REVIEW: The story is told well with lots of suspense.  Those who like mysteries and investigative work would enjoy.




REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner


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