Unexpected Magic with Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

When I was growing up, my favorite author was Sharon Creech. I’d read anything of hers I could get my hands on, from the award-winning Walk Two Moons to the companion Chasing Redbird to my all-time favorite (and the book I’ve carried around from house to house, dorm room to dorm room, for probably 20 years) Bloomability. 

Creech writes middle grade books, but I read them well into my late teens and early 20s (and I know I wasn’t alone). She creates these vivid, palpable universes with wise, intelligent protagonists and just the right amount of atmosphere, making them books that, while designed for a younger reader, can truly be enjoyed by everybody.

Laura Ruby is, in my opinion, the Sharon Creech for this generation.

Bone Gap is intended for a slightly older audience than Creech’s work – young adult readers as opposed to middle grade, but even adults are fawning over it and the little corner of reality that Ruby has chosen to explore: a town surrounded by corn and infiltrated by “gaps” that, whether magically or metaphorically, have a habit of inviting people to slip through, trapping them and refusing to release them from their grasp.

Bone Gap, like my favorite Sharon Creech books, flies in the face of the expected. With tinges of magic throughout the story and a dark fairytale throughline that leads the reader places he or she never would have expected, Bone Gap sits comfortably between contemporary and fantasy. Actually, one of the most poignant surprises of Bone Gap comes from its more realistic side.

Bone Gap is not only a beautifully atmospheric book, with scarecrows that scare, not crows, but corn, and a mysterious horse that appears out of nowhere, but it also so effortlessly weaves together deep, complex characters and surprises that are at once unexpected and inevitable that it has earned its place on my list of rare books that, once finished, make me want to turn immediately back to page one and start again.

2 thoughts on “Unexpected Magic with Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

  1. Sharon Creech was my favorite author growing up as well! Also, you’re definitely not alone in enjoying her books as you get older I should really reread all of my favorites written by her, and I’m almost 30! I also loved how the characters in her books were referenced in other books. Absolutely Normal Chaos was another fun one. I often think about Chasing Redbird when I go on a walk in the woods or hiking. Thanks for much for sharing this about Laura Ruby! I am going to request this book from the library now, and check out other books by her in the future. I always enjoy reading your blog! – Ruthanne

  2. Thanks for your comment, Ruthanne! Glad to hear I’m not the only Creech lover in the 30-ish range. Some books I like to keep in childhood (like Catcher in the Rye) and others I love just as much – if not more! – now.

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