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The Bone Dragon

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  628 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Evie's shattered ribs have been a secret for the last four years. Now she has found the strength to tell her adoptive parents, and the physical traces of her past are fixed - the only remaining signs a scar on her side and a fragment of bone taken home from the hospital, which her uncle Ben helps her to carve into a dragon as a sign of her strength.

Soon this ivory talisman
Paperback, 300 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Faber and Faber
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3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  628 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Sep 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
maybe 1,5 the most. Being VERY generous.

What can I say about "The Bone Dragon"? It should be called "The Boring Dragon" or something like that.

Maybe this review contains spoilers...I dont even care. Nothing happens in this book anyway.

Its about Evie. a 14 y/o girl who somehow does not have a character at all. She just has a OMGWTF history (which you will not hear anything important about really) and is such a poor, poor baby.

She just had one of her ribs removed in surgery and that rib ge
Lauren Smith
Rating: 7/10

For four years, 14-year-old Evie has been living with broken ribs after being abused by her grandparents. Although she was adopted by Amy and Paul, who proved to be loving, devoted parents, it took three years before she trusted them enough to tell them about the pain and what it meant. When the novel opens she wakes up in hospital after her operation. As a memento, the doctor gives her the piece of rib that they removed. When she goes home to recover, Evie’s Uncle Ben suggests she m
Britt / Basically Britt
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
I enjoyed the first 100 pages or so, but then I was just bored throughout the rest of the book.
Cora Tea Party Princess
This book just wasn't my cup of tea.

I was put off almost straight away by the seemingly slow and very confusing beginning. It took me a long long time to get into this book and by the time I did get in to it I just wasn't feeling it any more.

It's a quirky idea, the bone dragon, and it did work. But the trickle of information about Evie's past was just too slow for me, too patchy. I found myself flicking back a lot to jog my memory.

I think I'll give this book another go in a few months time. It w
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found this dark, angry dreamlike tale enthralling from start to finish. Evie' s past was dripfed to the reader, without outlining what happened completely. To start with I found this infuriating, but having thought about it, I feel that this would be how Evie would have preferred it.

However, what I think I'll really take away from this book is just how nice everyone was and just how refreshing it was to read love being written about without any ulterior motive. Oh, and just how adorable Uncle
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Bone Dragon is such a powerful debut novel. I’ve wanted to read this novel for a while, the synopsis intrigued me straight away and then the cover fully hooked me, after all it’s gorgeous. To be honest I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I picked up this novel. I wasn’t expecting such a raw and powerful story with such a strong main character. Alexia Casale has shown that she is a talented writer who can pack such an emotional punch in her prose. The Bone Dragon left me wanting mor ...more
Apr 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who like contemporary stories that deal with difficult issues, and don’t mind a slower pace
Recommended to Kelley by: Luna
If you like a slower, more subdued read, then The Bone Dragon might be a good choice for you. There are a lot of tough issues addressed in this book, and they were often subtly and carefully explored. Evie’s traumatic past and delicate relationships with her foster family are handled very well. I could feel her grief, understand her desire for secrecy, and empathize with her feelings of wanting to be loved. The other characters were pretty well rounded out, and I really appreciated the way the r ...more
Dusty Griffin
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy slower-paced stories
The Bone Dragon follows the story of 14-year-old girl Evie after an operation involving a broken rib. She has not told anyone of the truth of how she broke her rib, instead opting to tell them she was in a car crash. This is far from the truth, though, as her adoptive parents Amy and Paul should know.

After the operation, the doctors give her the detached rib as a keepsake. Like any normal girl, she asks her Uncle Ben to help her carve this bone into a majestic dragon since unicorns would be no u
Georgina Carter
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
I picked up The Bone Dragon in my library not knowing anything about the book or it’s author. It was in the young adult section, I liked the cover, there were good reviews quoted (although none from any major newspapers) and I thought the blurb was interesting:

"Dreams are the fire that warms the soul. Evie refuses to talk about why she needed an operation. Saying it out loud would hurt too much.

Instead, she focuses on carving the piece of her rib that the doctors removed into a tiny dragon – a d
Beth (bibliobeth)
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got this book free from NetGalley, many thanks to the publishers at Faber and Faber. When we first meet Evie in this novel she is recovering from an operation to mend her ribs, damaged in a horrifying way. The doctors let her take home a fragment of one of her bones that had to be removed, with which the help of her Uncle Ben, she carves into a beautiful dragon. Although at the start a lot of information is not provided, the reader can deduce that Evie is a profoundly unhappy little girl, who ...more
wow wow this was lovely. i'm docking one star (more like half a star, if we could do half-stars) because i do think the ending was a bit abrupt and neat, but it's not totally uncalled for given that this is a story about a dragon helping a child abuse victim cope.

Don't ask me about unicorns.
"I don't want to," I say. "They only go to the pure. Those who are chaste."
You have no need of a unicorn, the Dragon tells me firmly. It would be of no use to you. It is well that you wished for a dragon. You
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Beth

My review of this novel begins with WOW. I was not expecting anything special, especially when I read the title and synopsis but I always like being proven wrong. The Bone Dragon is brilliant. Not a quick read like some of the others recently, I took my time and savoured every bit of action and twist in the plot.
Evie has been broken, literally to bits but is slowly being mended in no small part due to her adoptive parents and new family. She’s lived through abuse and her new life s
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Can I just start off by saying that the ending made me laugh by how sudden and completely ridiculous it was! 😂😍

Okay, so I don't know what I expected from The Bone Dragon but I was pleasantly surprised by its thoughtful and quite beautiful telling. I'm finding it difficult to explain exactly what this book is but it had a dragon (who may or may not be real) and a sensitive subject that is very sensitively spoken about and dealt with.

Parts of it made me feel happy inside and I only got angry once
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was given this by another patient when I was in a psychiatric hospital. I never really read before I was in there, however, when I started the book I gained a huge passion for an evening read with a cup of raspberry tea. The book captivated me and took me out of the reality I was in, being the hospital, and into her world where adventure was taking over her troubled past. I loved how the book was split up into smaller sections, it made my racing mind able to keep up with the book. I finished t ...more
Louise O'Neill
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
#TheBoneDragon is lyrical, poignant, but ultimately uplifting. A really lovely book.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Evie has obviously been through something horrific but at first it's not quite clear what. Gradually snippets of information come through memories and conversations. Now Evie has been adopted by a wonderful, loving couple though she still has to remind herself of this fact and often has flashbacks to the suffering she experienced. After an operation to fix the broken ribs she lived with for many years, Evie is given a fragment of her bone to keep. Her uncle helps her carve it into a dragon which ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
What is it about?

Evie is a 14-year-old girl with a horrifying past. She was adopted 3 years ago, and it has taken her that long to confess to her adoptive parents that she's been living with broken ribs for the last 4 years. Her Uncle Ben helps her carve a piece of a rib the doctors removed into a dragon which she wishes would come to life and help her be strong. 

Is it good?

It was okay, but it was a little boring. It's mostly Evie going about her everyday life. Going to school, eating dinner, do
Beatrix Tung

0/5 stars

The cover was too nice for this book. It was obvious from the start that the bone dragon wasn't alive at all - it was just Evie making everything up. There are even hints. The universe the writer builds does not seem able to support the 'magic' of the bone dragon, unless you count all of the flowery flower descriptions that make no sense to non-gardeners and people living outside England.(view spoiler) Hooray, she's such a h

Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I sometimes quire like YA literature as its so light and adventurous.. this had potential but didnt keep my interest.. sorry book
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was lovely but for some reason i'm left with the most overwhelming longing for... something.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The story is told with subtlety and care; I like the way the horrors that Evie endured are only hinted at. I will be recommending this book to my students.
Alyce Hunt
'In the darkness I have no limits, no boundaries: I bleed into the hugeness of the night, reaching out and growing strong, filling up with power.'

Fourteen-year-old Evie has been with her foster parents, Amy and Paul, for a few years now, but has only just trusted them enough to tell them about the broken rib that she received when she was younger. After having surgery to remove the offending fragment her uncle Ben suggests carving it into a little dragon, and Evie wishes with all her might for t
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it

The Bone Dragon illustrates the emotional healing of 14-year-old Evie. She had been abused by her biological family, which led to the sustained injury of a broken rib. Eventually, she received surgery through her adoptive family to remove it and proceeded to carve a dragon out of the dead bone. The Dragon comes alive during the night, and lends her strength. 

I'll start with the enjoyable aspects of the Bone Dragon. Firstly, the character development. Evie is a lovely character, and one that I co

(Something Like) Lydia
For years, Evie told no one about the pain in her side, but now she wakes in the hospital room, aching but no longer broken; physically, at least.

On the table in front of her, the doctor places the very piece of bone that has troubled her for so long and, with the help of her uncle, she carves the small piece of bone into a dragon, the same dragon that will come to life at night and help her to heal.


I am by no means the target audience for The Bone Dragon, but I couldn’t help but become entranc
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a 4.5 star! This book is so hard to review because it is so hard to summarise... It's more of a journey that reflects real-life growth and self-awareness than a plot with beginning, middle and end. The characters are beautifully complex, and no one is perfect - and no one is really well-defined. That's one of the things that really made this writing style stand out to me; it doesn't pretend to be able to tell you everything about these characters' lives in only 300 pages. I loved how it ...more
Michelle Moore
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Bone Dragon introduces us to Evie, who’s recovering from an operation to remove a part of her rib. With the help of her uncle, she decides to keep this piece of rib, and carve a dragon from it. As she recovers, this little bone dragon comes to life, and takes her out on night time trips.

Over the course of the book, Evie’s past and life is gradually revealed to the reader, although it’s never totally clear; and it’s important to realise that Evie is the narrator of her story, so part of the e
Freya Barber
It was a good storyline but the character development was really slow and boring at the beginning, so it was hard to get into. I found the parts where she was outside with the dragon really boring and uninteresting. You have to work out for yourself Evie's backstory which is really irritating because it would be so much easier if she just told us why she had her rib taken out. Even when you work out her backstory, there are still lots of unanswered questions and gaps that need to be filled. I ga ...more
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it

This book. Hmmmmm. I really seem confused and wonder how I am supposed to sum up my true feelings and thoughts towards it, because honestly, I am not even sure what I really think about it. I am still trying to figure it out properly.

I liked it, but at the same time I didn't. I wish I could truly be certain but I can't.

You are probably just as confused as I am right now, and I really don't blame you.

Anyway, The Bone Dragon is a book which revolves around Evie, a young girl who had bee
Lauren A.
Oct 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Honestly I was extremely disappointed in this book. The protagonist, (named Evie) is a girl with a dark past that leads her to have rib surgery. After the operation she begins to heal with the help of a dragon. This dragon was carved from the rib that was removed from her body. She wishes for the dragon to come alive and so it does. The two begin to have midnight adventures and so I was pretty excited at the start of it. However the book went downhill from there. Evie whines about her life and t ...more
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Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize. Longlisted for The Branford Boase Award. A Book of the Year 2013 for the Financial Times and Independent.

A British-American citizen of Italian heritage, Alexia is an author, editor and writing consultant. She also teaches English Literature and Writing.

After an MA in Social & Political Sciences (Psychology major) then MPhil in Educational
“Taste the stars and listen to the darkness.” 2 likes
“There is beauty and wild magic in the night.” 2 likes
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