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The Amazing Bone (1976)

by William Steig

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1,0743516,276 (3.97)11
On her way home from school, Pearl finds an unusual bone that has unexpected powers.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is done in such a masterful way that even though it is a bit long, it sails by. Pearl is a young pig still in school. On a bight sunny day, she takes a picnic and finds a bone that once fell out of a witch’s basket. This amazing bone could talk. It was very helpful in scaring away the robbers that attacked with knives and guns. But the Fox was smart. He saw the bone and how amazing it was. He wanted it for himself and Pearl for dinner. Literally! A pignapping happens, but the bone still saves the day. This book is heavily banned. The reasons range from witchcraft and the occult to violence and kidnapping. I get why parents complain, this book is a bit more macabre wrapped in pretty paper than stories are now. But the story is lovely. It’s a folk tale that could be told again and again and again and kids would be on the edge of their seat every single time. ( )
  LibrarianRyan | Aug 30, 2022 |
The age old story of a pig who runs into a fox in the woods and is doomed to be his dinner. But wait! There are so many twists and turns, all tied to the amazing bone that our pig friend meets at the beginning of her adventure.

It’s fun and silly and a pretty satisfying read. ( )
  Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |
I understand how this story was put on the banned list. Not only does it contain violence, but it just isn't a good storyline in my opinion. It is about a female pig who just likes to frolic around. She sits in the woods alone and finds a talking bone. As she is on her way home with the bone, she gets robbed. The magic bone scares the robbers off. Then, the pig is approached by an old male fox who wants to eat her. He forces her to his home and locks her in a room alone. While he is heating a pot of water, the magic bone starts saying what is spells that he learned from a witch. The fox keeps shrinking as the bone calls out the spell. The girl and bone escape and remain friends. This was just a weird story. The illustrations include the robberies holding guns and knives. Also, the fox pushes his cane up onto the little pig's chest, then he is forcing her forward while she is crying. ( )
  dbourgeois | Sep 26, 2019 |
Although the story starts well, the plot becomes to violent and doesn’t seem to have a real ending. A girl pig wanders after school, finds a talking bone, gets into serious trouble, the bone saves her from a gruesome death, she brings the bone home, tell her parents then goes to bed with the bone. It makes no sense to me. ( )
  1Avidfan | Oct 3, 2018 |
Oh how odd! Also a read I remember from childhood. Apparently my mother was into 70s children's books, which is odd because she was born in '58 so they would not have been what she was reading as a child? I'll have to ask. This book was challenged because of the violence that Pearl encounters on her walk home. Guns, knives, molestation, and murder are not things one would expect to find in a children's book but somehow because of how whimsical the plot is, it works and a parent would simply need to judge their child on if they were ready to read a book like this. Steig actually wrote several books that were banned or challenged. Yet all were honored in some way as well, this one earning a Caldecott Honor. The utter creativity in his story telling and illustrations are incredible. I am not sure how he comes to the ideas that lead his plots but more power to him. I did read this is one of Steig's only books with a female main character and I did find it unfortunate that she goes through such trials and is inevitably saved by a bone, historically a phallic reference, but alas, I choose to side with the beautiful illustrations rather than innuendos. ( )
  signecbaum | Mar 23, 2018 |
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To Maggie, Melinda, Francesca, and Nika
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It was a brilliant day, and instead of going straight home from school, Pearl dawdled.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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On her way home from school, Pearl finds an unusual bone that has unexpected powers.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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