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The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence
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The Skeleton Tree

by Iain Lawrence

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
12-year old Chris is invited to go sailing with his Uncle Jack in Alaska. When Chris arrives, he is introduced to another boy, Frank, around 15-years old, who is also coming. Unfortunately, their boat sinks and they lose Jack. Chris and Frank are stranded somewhere in Alaska, trying to survive.

I really liked this. But, wow, did I hate Frank! What a jerk! I loved Thursday, the smart raven who befriended Chris. I really enjoyed the story, though. I suppose it’s those good stories that make you feel such strong love or hate for the characters, sometimes. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While I was a bit over the intended reading age for this book, The Skeleton Tree was an easy enjoyable read. I am a fan of books with a veey small, well written cast of characters and this was definitely one of those. It had a thought out plot which the characters fell into naturally. I got attached to the two main characters very quickly. I have to say that the author wrote the characters incredibly well, but I did find a bit of trouble with pushing the plot forward, it was like you could see the top of the hill but no what was over it. You could tell the plot was trying to go somewhere but it took more time than I thought necessary to get there. By the end of the book I was happy with where the plot went, just wish in it got there in a smoother fashion.
This book gave me Touching Spirit Bear vibes, and seems like the perfect kind of thing to read for a novel study, but as someone who read it for pure enjoyment I would definitely still recommended it. It's heartfelt, and an interesting take on the idea of young boys lost in the wilderness. I've read more boring, wilderness survival books than I would like to admit but this one had me wanting to keep reading and once I pass the slow part of the plot hill it was done before I realized it. ( )
  Jacea | Jun 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm still scratching my head as to where Iain Lawrence is trying to go with his book, "The Skeleton Tree," even hours after finishing it.
I received a paperback copy of "The Skeleton Tree" via LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.
It's supposed to be a story about survival, which is what piqued my interest in the first place, although I'm frankly (no pun intended) shocked that Frank, 16, and Chris, 12, somehow managed to stay alive in the Alaskan wilderness for as long as they did. I won't get into specifics, but both of them should have died -- and would have -- in the real world. I suppose this is where the "fantasy" part comes in, despite the fact that it does not work well with Lawrence's theme of survival when it comes to believability, in my humble opinion.
I get that the book is meant to be about relationships, both human and animal, and that it is brimming with symbolism (the tree, the raven, the life and death of relationships, etc.). But that still didn't make me like Frank and Chris any more at the end than I did at the beginning, which was zilch. And it's OK to have main characters who are unlikable because it makes the story more realistic to the reader. I did guess the biggest twist early on, but you have to be pretty dense not to see it coming from a mile away.
As for Thursday the raven, I would be lying if I said I didn't think of the famous Edgar Allan Poe poem a time or two. I won't get into specifics, else it will spoil the book for other readers, but I couldn't get the poem out of my head.
Overall, I give the book three stars because it did keep me turning the pages despite the tug of war between reality and fantasy. ( )
  J-Mac71 | May 26, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a middle-grade novel that I have already recommended to one of my boys. This book reminded me of stories I read as a child. It definitely felt like a Canadian book and it isn't because of the reference to Vancouver and the Skytrain. Being from Canada, I read a lot of books by Canadian authors in school and this took me back to those novels.

The story was well written and kept moving along. The boys are stranded on the beach and need to make the most of their situation, including relying on each other when they don't necessarily get along. Can I say how much I love Thursday the raven? And it wasn't until I was halfway through the book that I realized that is a raven on the cover.

If you're an adult reading this book, remember that it is written for a middle-grade audience. For that audience, I think it is spot on. ( )
1 vote CAEdwards | May 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Great book, awesome story. ( )
  cassy24 | May 17, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038573378X, Hardcover)

Award-winning author Iain Lawrence presents this modern-day adventure and classic in the making, in the vein of The Call of the Wild, Hatchet, and The Cay.
 
Less than forty-eight hours after twelve-year-old Chris sets off on a sailing trip down the Alaskan coast with his uncle, their boat sinks. The only survivors are Chris and a boy named Frank, who hates Chris immediately. Chris and Frank have no radio, no flares, no food. Suddenly, they’ve got to forage, fish, and scavenge the shore for supplies. Chris likes the company of a curious, friendly raven more than he likes the prickly Frank. But the boys have to get along if they want to survive.
 
Because as the days get colder and the salmon migration ends, survival will take more than sheer force of will. Eventually, in the wilderness of Alaska, the boys discover an improbable bond—and the compassion that might truly be the path to rescue.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 21 Aug 2015 02:43:39 -0400)

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