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Skeleton Man (Skeleton Man #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,686 ratings  ·  294 reviews
Trust your dreams. Both my parents said that. That's our old way, our Mohawk way. The way of our ancestors. Trust the little voice that speaks to you. That is your speaking. But when those feelings, those dreams, those voices are so confusing, what do you do then?

"Help," I whisper. "Help."
I'm not sure who I'm talking to when I say that, but I hope they're listening.

Ever si
...more
Hardcover, 114 pages
Published August 21st 2001 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published August 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,833)
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Dorothea
What's scariest about this book is all the things in it that could, and do, really happen.

Kid's parents disappears, she's too much in denial to ask for help and is left alone for several days? Check.

Social services sends kid to live with an uncle she's never met before? Check.

Kid knows that this man is NOT her uncle, but social services doesn't want to hear about it? Check.

Kid finally finds the right thing to say to her teacher and school counselor to make them take her seriously, but the counse
...more
Pksoper
Note to self: Don't start just any book at 12:30 am! Even though this is definitely a tween book, it still packs plenty of creepy inti 110 pages. I had to finish it in one go just so that I knew the ending and could go to sleep!
Medeia Sharif
There's an old Mohawk tale about a man who was so hungry that he ate himself; limbs, torso, everything until only a skeleton remained. Relishing the taste of flesh, he also ate his family. The only relative who evaded his skeletal hands was his niece.

Molly heard this tale from her father, who grew up on a reservation. She leads a typical life in the city until her parents vanish one day. She is forced to live with her great-uncle, a man she's just met, who mysteriously appears after her parents
...more
Tionna
I learned to not be afraid Mollies parents were missing she didn't know were they could be then her started missing for days and Molly got really scared that she would never see her parents then she get so worried and lonely she told her teacher Mrs.Shaba then the social services found then this strange looking man said I'm the uncle of Molly. Molly was shocked because her mom and dad were missing and her never told her she had aunties and uncles.When she started to live him for a while she felt ...more
Fred Toppel
When Molly's parents disappear she is put into the custody of her "Uncle". She knows something is amiss when he treats her very differently from everyone else. the uncle is a very small character but at the same time one of the most important.he unintentionally gives molly clues into where her parents disappeared to. She begins to have dreams about the skeleton man, the one whom her dad told stories about. Uncle is very discreet in what he does and where he goes. Can he be the skeleton man that ...more
Karen the Comic Seller
I've heard Joe Bruchac tell stories of his Abernaki heritage - and this reads just the way the talks. Wonderful story - even though it's aimed at a juvenile audience, no reason they should keep it all to themselves. A good story, well told, is still a good story, no matter the age group. And this is a good story well told.
Also the sequel, Return of the Skeleton Man
Eden
Molly is a 13 year old girl who wakes up one morning to find that her parents never came home. Even a few days later they still do not come home. Molly somehow knows that her parents are out there somewhere and they will come back.
When social services comes, Molly tries to tell them that, but they aren't convinced and they place her with a great-uncle, who she has never met or heard of before. Molly doesn't want to go and live with him, but they give her no choice. There is something strange abo
...more
Heather
I read this with my seven year old who loves all things creepy. I thought this tale, featuring a brave and resourceful young heroine, was eerie and suspenseful, but my son informs me that it "isn't scary at all." I still think this book is more appropriate for the 9-12 year old crowd.

The story concerns a young, Native American girl who's parents go missing one night. A mysterious uncle shows up to care for the girl but she is certain he is an impostor. As the story moves along she becomes more
...more
Despair Speaking
I cannot remember much from this book except that I recall I was truly creeped out. I was still in elementary school when I got a copy of this and read it into the night. Molly wasn't a bad lead (I don't recall being annoyed with her) and the dreams added a scary touch that helped explain the story a bit.

Basically, Skeleton Man is about Molly who is suddenly taken in by a great-uncle she never knew existed. Her parents were orphans (if my memory isn't failing me) and they had never mentioned hav
...more
West Region,
Skeleton Man
by Joseph Bruchac

According to Mohawk Indian legend, there was once a lazy old uncle who devoured his own flesh until he was nothing but his skeleton remained. Still hungry for flesh, he devoured the rest of his family as they came home one night. His young niece outwits him and brings the rest of her family back to life.

Flash forward to present-day New York. Sixth grader Molly awakes to find her parents missing since the previous night. She's sure they'll be home any minute, so she s
...more
Beth
I wonder what kids really want when they ask for "a scary book". Are they thinking something in the horror formula? Psychological thriller? Mysterious Mystery? Because I'm realizing that all three genres could be under the umbrella of "scary story".

Skeleton Man has aspects of all three, but it's definitely not written in a formula. 12 year old Molly narrates the story of being sent to live with an Uncle who is a complete stranger to her after her parents just fail to come home. The behavior and
...more
Matthew
May 16, 2008 Matthew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Serindipity
Shelves: childrensbooks
When was the last time you read a good scary story? If you’re like me, it’s been a while. I like to get creeped out… and this does it.

Caveat: This is a 100 page children’s book. But it is well-written and fun. Think of it as a novelette.

It’s smart. It’s based on a traditional Native American story about a man who cooks and eats his own flesh leaving nothing but bones, then cooks and eats his family, and then attempts to eat his young niece. It’s set in present-day and the heroine is a middle-sc
...more
Lindsey
Wow! This book was scary! Molly woke up one morning and realized that her parents were gone! Vanished! She has no idea where they've disappeared to and even worse, this creepy old man has claimed her as his niece. There are lots of creepy things about this guy. He never eats and at night he locks her in her room from the outside. On top of it all, Molly is having these dreams about "The Skeleton Man."

Warning: Don't read this before you go to bed!

Also, this book is based on a Native American sto
...more
Nielson
I am reading this with the 6th graders...it has been good so far! We just finished the book. I was actually really surprised at the ending. I thought it had a really good amount of suspense. I sometimes hating reading all of the detail that the author put in, but the kids still seemed interested. To help set the mood for reading the book we would turn off the lights so that it would be a little darker and spookier. I thought overall it was a great book that kids would really be interested in rea ...more
Newport Librarians
Molly wakes up one morning to find her parents never came home the night before. Social services turn her over to a mysterious uncle and Molly begins to have dreams about the Skeleton Man, a character in an old Indian story, a character the mysterious uncle closely resembles. Molly has misgivings about the uncle from the first time she sees him. Then her dreams warn her of danger. Her teacher has promised help if only she can find even one shred of evidence. Can she? Will she find it in time to ...more
Brooke Butler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaux
This book legit scared the bajeezus out of me. I can't wait to book talk it. I'll let Joseph Bruchac speak for himself:

"Dad had the best stories. They were ones his aunties told him when he was growing up on the Mohawk Reserve of Akwesasne on the Canadian side. One of my favorites was the one about the skeleton monster. He was just a human being at first, a lazy, greedy uncle who hung around the longhouse and let everyone else hunt for him. One day, alone in the lodge, waiting for the others to
...more
Bethany
Trust your dreams. Both my parents said that. That's our old way, our Mohawk way. The way of our ancestors. Trust the little voice that speaks to you. That is your speaking. But when those feelings, those dreams, those voices are so confusing, what do you do then?
"Help," I whisper. "Help."
I'm not sure who I'm talking to when I
say that, but I hope they're listening.
Ever since Molly woke up one morning and discovered that her parents vanished, she has had to depend on herself to survive
-- and fin
...more
Kristy
I was horrified by this book. I read it because my fourth grade daughter's teacher was reading it aloud in class. Here is a copy of the email I sent the principal.

Hi Mrs. Rounds,
Last Thursday when I went to pick up my kids from school my fourth grader got in the car and began to cry (this is very unusual of her). When I inquired what was wrong she said the teacher is reading a scary book and “haunts her.” I thought she must be overreacting and told her to buck up and be brave. Then, later that
...more
Kathryn Reeder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claudia
Molly was raised on old Mohawk stories, especially the one about Skeleton Man, a man so lazy he cooks and eats himself into a skeletion, and then devours all his family. All but a plucky little girl, with the help of a rabbit in a North American version of Androcles and the Lion.

Now Molly fears she's living in that story. her parents never come home from a date night, she tries to stay by herself at home, but suddenly a 'long lost uncle' appears to take custody. She's a kid. Kids are not believe
...more
Maya
Recently I just finished reading this book and I enjoyed it. This book is mysterious so every time you read it, it leaves you wanting to keep on reading it. There is a little girl named Molly who finds her parents ''dead'', so a security company goes knocking on her door claiming that they have a man who is her uncle and that he will be staying with Molly and to keep her safe. The man is acting very mysterious, he wears jeans, a long sleeve shirt, and a hood covering his face. He doesn't show an ...more
Angelica Galanis
Molly wakes up one morning to find that her parents have not returned from the night before so she keeps telling herself that they will come back, but they don't. someone calls the police and she is sent to stay with someone that claims to be her great uncle. Her great uncle is a weird old man that hides his face and locks Molly in her room at night, and Molly is afraid. Her dreams are telling her that she is in danger, to be careful and that her uncle isn't human, but what will Molly do? Molly ...more
Alexander
The title of the book is skeleton man.and the author is Joseph bruchac. I would recomand this book because it is funny/scary and it hasa couple of traits for each charecter. and you learn a lot about losing in this book. I think it is funny and scary because when Molly was being funny and thought her uncle was giving her poison food .
Morgan
I loved this book! It reminded me of Coraline, a quick, Y/A read but incredibly creepy and atmospheric, regardless of your age. I read it all in one sitting during a thunder storm.

While the fantastical elements were disturbing the really creepy stuff were the things that could actually happen: disappearing parents, being taken in by a suspicious "relative", not having anyone believe you when you try to tell them you're in danger... scary stuff!

I also loved the theme of female strength and coura
...more
Brynn
Great scary book for grades 6-8. A refreshing idea as well: the main character is Native American but that is not what the story focuses on, it's just who she happens to be.
Elizabeth
Well this one seriously creeped me out. In a good way, of course. It’s part folktale retelling, part ghost story, and part mystery. Molly’s parents have gone missing and she is taken in by a man who claims to be her uncle. Molly knows they have no relatives except a few cousins out in California, but unfortunately all the important adults seem to be totally taken in. Molly is convinced her parents are still alive and will return, but she’s forced to move in with the uncle until she can save hers ...more
James
Molly is a middle school girl who wakes up one morning and find that her parents were not home. Even a few days later they still not home. Molly somehow knows that her parents are out there somewhere and they will come back. When social services comes, Molly tries to tell them that, but they aren't convinced and they place her with a great-uncle, who she has never met or heard of before. Molly doesn't want to go and live with him, but they give her no choice. There is something strange about him ...more
Judy Desetti
Great book for the Halloween season. Creepy tale of a girl whose parents disappear and she has to go live with an uncle who suddenly shows up to claim her. She doesn't know the uncle and the story develops from there. As usual for Bruchac he brings in a Native American thread to tie into this story. This will be good for reluctant readers. Only 114 pgs and a fast read.

Recommend. I barely had this out of my hands before kids were clamoring for it. I book talked it to a group and now have holds f
...more
Nicolewinter2011
Illustrator: Sally Wern Comport
Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher
Year Published: 2001
Reading Level: 3-5
Interest Level: 3-10

I thought this text was well written in terms of integrating Native American culture. The cultural context was specific and present, but it did not dominate the story, since the focus was more on the tale itself. I enjoyed the parallels between the main character of today and the Mohegan legend of a Skeleton monster. I enjoyed this book more because of the audio format. It
...more
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Joseph Bruchac lives with his wife, Carol, in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by wh ...more
More about Joseph Bruchac...

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