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Skeleton Man (Skeleton Man #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,945 Ratings  ·  319 Reviews
Ever since the morning Molly woke up to find that her parents hadvanished, her life has become filled with terrible questions. Where have her parents gone? Who is this spooky old man who's taken her to live with him, claiming to be her great-uncle? Why does he never eat, and why does he lock her in her room at night? What are her dreams of the Skeleton Man trying to tell h ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 5th 2003 by HarperCollins (first published August 1st 2001)
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Native American Lore
10th out of 34 books — 80 voters
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Diversity in Young Adult and Middle Grade
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paula Soper
Aug 18, 2011 Paula Soper rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
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!
Karen the Comic Seller
Nov 11, 2009 Karen the Comic Seller rated it it was amazing
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
Medeia Sharif
Mar 14, 2011 Medeia Sharif rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
Mar 28, 2012 Tionna rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 18, 2009 Fred Toppel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ssr
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
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
Jun 10, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
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
Despair Speaking
Sep 24, 2012 Despair Speaking rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 22, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it
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
Jul 05, 2014 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 16, 2008 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  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
May 29, 2013 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
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
Nov 13, 2009 Nielson rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I am reading this with the 6th 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
Judy Desetti
Oct 29, 2014 Judy Desetti rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: gr 5 -8
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
May 27, 2016 Sydney rated it it was amazing

The book "Skeleton Man" is written by Joseph Bruchac. "Skeleton Man" is about a little girl named Molly, Who woke up one day and her parents weren't to be found. She stayed home alone for a couple of days from school till someone called the cops and than a man came Molly didn’t know who the man was. The man had ID to show the officer and the officer let him take Molly. But than Molly realized it was a skeleton who looks like a man, who says to be her "great uncle". Molly feel there is something
Gina Khamo
Sep 02, 2015 Gina Khamo rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading 'skeleton man'. I liked it because it was very mysterious, and I absolutely love mystery genre. I really recommend this book for teens/kids up to ages 12-15 that also love mystery drama. I think that this book isn't too, creepy, but is just right for the recommended ages. The only thing that i disliked about the book was that it didn't have much to an ending to it. I think that the story had sort of left the readers hanging at the end of the book.. Other than that, I thi ...more
Brooke Butler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 06, 2014 Margaux rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 16, 2014 Bethany rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2014 Kristy rated it did not like it
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
Alexis Tenezaca
Nov 11, 2015 Alexis Tenezaca rated it it was amazing

Have you ever read a book so scary and suspenseful that you need to throw your book? The genre of this book speculative fiction because in the story it has parts that won’t make sense to the real world. I think if anyone wants a short scary book, i think this book is perfect. It has the ability to keep you in suspense and scared.
The setting of this book is in Molly's home and her so called uncle’s house. The main setting of this story is her so called uncle’s house. The only thing that Molly ne
Jul 03, 2015 Jeremy rated it it was ok
I read a short story by this author ("The Snapping Turtle") recently with my summer school class, and I really liked it. I appreciated the story's style and connected with its theme. So when I ran across this book the next day, I had hoped the same would be true. But this one did not satisfy me. And maybe it's because the subject matter is not my "thing." I am not a fan of the "creepy," so it is probably difficult for me to be unbiased. I did not read it closely—I just read it to the end—so I ca ...more
Emma Rice
Dec 16, 2015 Emma Rice rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! At first when I was reading it I was like oh ok this doesn't seem too interesting. But when you get in the middle of the book and at the end... I just wanted to keep on reading and reading and reading! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries but not really crazy over mysteries. This book had outstanding word choice and very good and descriptive details.
Kathryn Reeder
Apr 28, 2015 Kathryn Reeder rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 16, 2014 Maya rated it really liked it
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
Mar 12, 2014 Angelica Galanis rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, apr-14
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
Mar 26, 2012 Alexander rated it it was amazing
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 .
Hailey Mobley
Sep 17, 2015 Hailey Mobley rated it it was amazing
This book is a good one. I read Skeleton Man. It is about Molly, a young teen who's parents go missing mysteriously. They go out one night and never return. Her so called uncle takes her into his custody. Molly gets weird vibes from him, by the food he feeds her, the rooms, his roll, and how he'd lock her bedroom door at night, keeping her shut in there all alone. Molly is very scared but brave. She has weird dreams about skeleton man chasing her with a rabbit for guidance. Do her dreams mean so ...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...

Other Books in the Series

Skeleton Man (2 books)
  • The Return of Skeleton Man

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