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The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  162 ratings  ·  32 reviews
When an accident leaves teenage cousins Meline and Jocelyn parentless, they come to live with their unknown and eccentric Uncle Marten on his private island. They soon discover that the island has a history as tragic as their own: it was once an air force training camp, led by a mad commander whose crazed plan to train pilots to fly airplanes without instruments sent eleve ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published July 24th 2007)
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So...I was on board for the first 2/3 of this book. The writing was snappy, the humor was dry and delightful, and the plot was at least intriguing enough to keep me turning pages. But let's be honest here: the cart falls off the horse at the end. I think the author hit the 200-page mark and decided she had better wrap things up PDQ. She abandoned the multiple narrative voices that had made the story so rich in favor of an Agatha Christie let-me-unveil-the-killer scene at the end, delivered from ...more
This is the first Horvath I've read, and I was quite pleasantly surprised by it. I'm torn between three and four stars, but I'm feeling generous today. And I was sad when the book ended...I love that feeling.

Clever use of words, great dark humor, heartbreaking alone-ness. I don't even want to describe the plot because it's much better than a plot summary would indicate. Two good quotes:

"The light was fading, which should have made the house feel cozy and even more Christmaslike with the millions
Chris Go
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book reminds me a little bit of a cross between The lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and the secret garden. it about two girls whose parents die in a train wreck in Africa. They are sent to live with an uncle they barely know who lives on an island that is littered with wrecked planes from an old air force base that used to be there. The girls start trying to rebuild a plane from the wreckage as they deal with their new lives.

I liked this book because of the characters in it. They are a we
This book was jumpy, leaping from one character's point of view to another. I found that I did not care about any of the characters, but managed to persevere to the end...only to find the ending a total let down.
this was another just okay book that i had high hopes for based on my like of the author's previous books. i don't quite know why, but i didn't find it very interesting. and it wasn't believable for me.
What a great novel! Loved the quirky characters. I read this on a long flight and laughed out loud. Everyone needs an Uncle Marten.
I enjoyed The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane and have already recommended it to someone. Other reviews that say the ending felt rushed -- I can agree with that, but I disagree that some felt like it didn't fit the rest of the book. The story of loss, of family, of companionship, and grief are not easy subjects to tackle, even though they are universal feelings, we each deal with it individually, as these characters do.
Jim Erekson
I'm kind of glad I didn't read this Horvath first, because it's not as well done as a lot of her other novels. I am an uber fan, so I gave it four stars--at this point because I am enjoying figuring out her writerly 'moves'. The problem was that she seemed to be writing this (and the cover illustration didn't help) to be a plot-driven story. But then it seemed like bait and switch into a character-driven story. The loose ends of the plot threads were all tied up in exposition in the last 35-page ...more
Wow this is another book I didn't appreciate/get during my childhood. I enjoyed the black humour, the tragicomedy, and I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud a few times at Uncle Marten's antics or Meline/Jocelyn's comments.

However, the reason I didn't get it when I was younger is because (view spoiler)
Leave it to Polly Horvath to come up with a book for the YA crowd that is this strange. The characters are frigid though interesting. The plot, though it sometimes drags a bit, is somewhat compelling. There are some very funny parts that kind of take the reader by surprise (i.e. the delivery system and the butler drop). Even so, I am amazed that Horvath could even pull off a book this unusual. Then again, with good writing and superb characterization, I guess anything is possible.

My complaint ab
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by JodiG. for

Jocelyn and Meline are cousins with nothing more in common than a shared tragedy; the death of their parents. Now, both girls have been sent to live with their reclusive Uncle Marten on his private island.

Jocelyn and Meline are both dealing with grief in their own way, while trying to adjust to their new surroundings. Uncle Marten seems scatterbrained and completely unable to properly interact with others, much less to offer support to the two traumatized
This was an okay book, it was good but not the great. The genera of this book is realistic fiction. It was about two cousins named Meline and Jocelyn, which both of their parents died in an accident. They both end up living with their uncle named Marten in an island. As time passes by both of the cousins discover that their was a history behind this island which was about a crazy commander who made eleven piolets die by training to fly a airplane without instruments. Meline, Jocelyn, and uncle M ...more
I am not sure what to say about this book except that I forced myself to finish it.
Yes, Polly Horvath, yet again, paints a cast of colorful characters. She puts the young and the old toegther in a big house. Everyone is self-involved and we are served chapters of navel gazing characters who go on and on about unconnected uninteresting issues.

Then, in the end, when we could completely care less, she shwos us how this group is connected in a few more uninteresting chapters that wrap it all up in a
Luna PenDragon
I was forced to read this book because I was a member of White Pine 2009. This book is absolutly boring. The story starts at the END of the book. Just read the first three character sections, read the christmas scene and read the last three character sections. DON"T BOTHER READING THE WHOLE THING! I had to force myself to read this. It was terrible. Its just the boring lives of an intellectual (WHO SUFFERS FROM BIBLIOMANIA AND OCD ABOUT HIS BOOKS), a stuck up British girl, a tomboy,a jewish cook ...more
This character-driven book probably isn't for someone who wants much of a plot in their fiction. That said, the characters are all so well-written, eccentric, and fun to read that I didn't really mind the lack of real story. My only real problem with this book was the ending - it felt like she decided to just wrap up all the different characters' stories in five pages or less and be done with it. Kind of like one of those movie montages where they tell you where the characters are in ten years, ...more
Nov 12, 2008 Jen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jen by: Carol Edlefson
Shelves: didnt-finish
I didn't finish this, largely because I was reading for the purpose of compiling a booklist and this didn't turn out to fit well.

Even if I were reading this just for pleasure I'm not sure I would have finished -- her characters are, as always, unbeatable. Horvath is great at getting in the minds of her children and teen characters. That said, the plot plodded along and gave the reader no incentive to continue. Although I felt I knew the characters, I wasn't drawn to them and I didn't care about
Too much rambling off on random tangents for it to be very interesting
While the book didn't exactly grab my attention at first, it was really well written. The characterization was phenomenal. Polly Horvath did a great job switching through different people's views, showing how they felt and how they misunderstood eachother, and you really got to sympathize with some of them. At the same time, though, she refrained from showing the point of view of the most elusive character, which helped add to the mystery
Had to read it for my English class as a White Pine book in grade 9. It had bits of interesting and tragic points. It was a pick-up-once-and never-again-book liked it enough to finish it but won`t re-read it again. What i learned from the book? Sharing your griefs and sorrows with someone can help you heal and feel connected with each other. The more you share, the more comfortable you get around each other. The ending was quite weird :/
Really good. Like the Canning Season in some ways - girl goes to live with eccentric relatives. A little too dark for Zoe to read just yet. Too much mention of decapitation (which is in the Canning Season, too, actually). After her parents die, she is shipped to her rich uncle's island along with her cousin, whose parents died in the same accident. They aren't very good at communicating. Lots of silent dinners.
Danial Nassirnia
This book had character building of epic proportions, and a very interesting setting. My only problem with this book was the Anti-climactic ending...totally spoiled the book. But the rest of the book was enough to entertain me, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, finding the characters problems realistic and I could feel their depression. Very well written by Mrs. Horvath.
That Guy
i was supposed to read this for a book report but i couldnt get myself to read the book, it was boring at i really only read like 50 pgs but i still passed because in 50 pages you already know what the story is about the book moves very slow it was just bad not reading another one of polly horvath books because this one was just really bad
Apr 26, 2008 Devon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pocket
Recommended to Devon by: no one
Shelves: 2008
I loved it. It was truley adicting after i started to get into it. i hardly got any sleep over the days I was reading it because i would stay up all night reading it. It dragged you in, made you want to know how it would end. It ended a bit... no a lot differently then i was expecting. I was not dissapointed just suprised.
I had avoided this book because I didn't like the cover. I found most of it quite interesting but I kept wondering how she was going to resolve it. She didn't. It felt like she got sick of it, wrapped it up real fast and turned it in so she could get on with something more interesting. I used to do that in school
This book, about 2 cousins whose parents die in a train accident and then are sent to live with their uncle on an island, was very much off-the-beaten track. Dealing with grief in different ways and living with a very eccentric uncle and other unusual people made for an intriguing read.
I like this book for myself. The change in perspective was interesting, and I found Uncle Marten amusing. However, I did not feel there was a clear plot, and it was too mature, in terms of the thinking required to appreciate it, for the target audience. So that is why I give it two stars.
I adored the dark humour and the quirky characters in this novel (as well as the enclosed setting), but I felt I was whisked away from the island too soon. I would have rated this book four stars if not for the oddly rapid ending.
This book was very disappointing. The mixed narratives didn't help the story and character development (much), and it was very draggy. Not what I expected, and not really worth reading.
bizarre and darkly funny, the story of 2 cousins who go to live with a rich uncle on a remote island off the coast of british columbia after the death of both sets of parents.
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ENG 580 Spring 2014: Choice Book 4:The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane 1 1 Apr 01, 2014 09:01AM  
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Polly Horvath is the author of many books for young people, including Everything on a Waffle, The Pepins and Their Problems, The Canning Season and The Trolls. Her numerous awards include the Newbery Honor, the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, the Mr. Christie Award, the international White Raven ...more
More about Polly Horvath...
Everything on a Waffle (Coal Harbour #1) Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! (The Bunny's #1) My One Hundred Adventures (My One Hundred Adventures #1) The Canning Season The Trolls

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