Bonez

Mr. Roses
Independently Published (2021)
ISBN: 978-0999567647
Reviewed by Grady (age 8) and Mom (01/2022)

“Bonez” by Mr. Roses is a book about three skaters: Quigz, Essie, and Bonez. Bonez is the best, though they all have talent. The annual skating race is about to begin and it’s Bonez against Sally; the toughest skater around. After the race, Bonez begins to behave badly , and tells his friends to ignore a girl that had been very nice to him, just to protect his image. “Bonez” is written like a song, which I didn’t particularly like, but you might like it.

If the author wished to create a fun plot with skating, family, and friendship, then there is no doubt in my mind that Roses accomplished exactly what he set out to do. For example: on pg 33: “Essie–Bonez! You did it! I knew it, man! Quigz- I knew it, I knew it, even before the race began! The boys, arms on each other’s shoulders, they started jumping and began to spin. Essie- I’m proud of you, Bonez. Quigz- Me too, man! Humbly, Bonez held back a grin.” That paragraph displays a lot of key elements in the book: friendship, and skating, not to mention a lot of excitement.

One of my favorite parts of the book was right after the race, a moment that held a lot of excitement and emotion, his friends congratulating him, people taking photos, and of course all the excitement that really drew me in! I can relate to a lot of the characters. For example, Quigz, because of his role as a wildcard and the joker of the group, reminds me a lot of one of my best friends. The next character is Bonez, the humble and quiet one, who reminds me of another one of my close friends. And finally, there’s Essie, who reminds me a little of myself — energetic, loves to cook, and a definite extrovert.

Roses wrote very well, just not in a style enjoyable for me. I think that if the author is going to write a book in the form of a song, it needs rhythm to accompany its rhymes. I think the book would have been more enjoyable were it presented in traditional form.

One connection I can make between my life and the book, while subtle, is that this is a book about skateboarding, and I have a skateboard that I painted myself.

I believe this book would be appropriate for readers between the ages of 7 and 13, and especially for those who like skateboarding and music.

In conclusion, “Bonez” has an interesting plot, but lacks the consistent rhythm necessary to pull off its presentation in song form. With that said, it offers exciting characters, compelling ups and downs, and lots of adventure!

A Note from Mom: The idea to write the book like a song was something that I think worked much better in theory than in practice. We thought it could be fun, especially since Grady plays violin, and we were anticipating that he would make a musical connection with the story. Unfortunately, the cadence was rather uneven, so the musicality didn’t come through as we’d hoped, and in the end, we both felt that the form ended up distracting from the story rather than enhancing it.

The text mostly seems to follow an AA rhyme scheme, with each pair of lines ending in rhyming words, but the lengths of the lines vary, so the rhymes don’t feel like they are falling naturally, as they would in a song. In order to maintain the rhyme scheme, the author had to play with the word order, and as a result, some of the sentences ended up feeling awkward, such as, for example: “Now I’m sure she’s just been painting; her missing me I highly doubt” (161). Furthermore, occasionally there are sections that break the pattern, such as the following paragraph, in which the middle sentence throws off the rhythm: “Essie walked over to the popular kids’ table and sat down with his tray and his food. Quigz was on the floor, cleaning the mess he made. Always laughing, he even got the lunch lady in a good mood” (99). These irregularities made it challenging to get into any kind of flow while reading the story.

Grady and I both felt that the author has a lot to offer – the characters were relatable, and the message about sportsmanship is a valuable lesson for all kids to learn.

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