The Gnawer of Rocks by Louise Flaherty, illustrated by Jim Nelson


     The Gnawer of Rocks by Louise Flaherty, illustrated by Jim Nelson. Inhabit Media, 2017.  9781772271652

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Legend

What did you like about the book? An Inuit legend in graphic novel form! Two teenaged girls carrying babies on their backs take a walk. They find beautiful round stones, which lead them to an unfamiliar cave. When they enter, the entrance somehow closes behind them. First they find bones, and then find themselves in a room with shelves of skulls. One of the skulls says “Beware!” But before they can leave, before them appears the terrifying ancient land spirit Mangittatuarjuk, ” the gnawer of bones.” As she approaches, the girls must figure out a way to outwit her. This is a tale of clever kids outwitting a terrifying monster, a theme present in many cultures’ folktales. It’s great that readers can learn such a tale of the Inuit. The deep blues, browns and black of the palette perfectly suit the mood of the story. An author’s note and glossary add interest. The endpapers have a repeating pattern of dead children’s skulls – deliciously horrifying!

To whom would you recommend this book?  Suitable for ages 8 and up because of the scariness of the subject. It would be a fun addition to units on scary folktales!

Who should buy this book? This is a great addition to folktale collections for elementary school and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it ? Graphic novels, folktales 398.2

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you like your stories scary, then yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: March 13, 2018

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This entry was posted in Book Review, Folk Tale, Graphic novel, Legend and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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