Fat & Bones and Other Stories

2 CDs. 1:30 hrs. Recorded Books. 2015. $25.75. ISBN 9781490666877. digital download.
Gr 7 Up—Farmer Bald was not a kind man, and when he dies, life on the farm gets even worse. His terrible son, Bones, and Fat, the grumpy fairy who lives in the tree, hate each other and go to extreme lengths to demonstrate it. Their actions have far-reaching consequences that affect nearly every other creature on the farm. Lovestruck Jimmy the mouse, one-legged Esmerelda the pig, and Leonard Grey III, a spider who loves tea and sonnets, each have an unfortunate role to play in this dark fantasy. Theule explores the wickedness within the characters and the sometimes surprising acts of self-sacrifice. She does not shy away from gruesome imagery. The farmer's wife chops off the pig's foot to make a stew, and Bones unintentionally cuts off the cat's tail. Sensitive readers may be troubled by these images. Through distinctive voicing, Donald Corren slowly reveals each character's personality and innermost thoughts, leading listeners to a surprising conclusion.
VERDICT Fans of dark humor and stories with a twist may wish to try this tale of ill-fated events. ["These stories are recommended for middle schoolers who aren't afraid of a dark twist": SLJ 8/14 review of the Carolrhoda book.]

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