Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)” as Want to Read:
Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Down Among the Sticks and Bones

(Wayward Children #2)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  20,067 ratings  ·  4,022 reviews
Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline
Audiobook, 187 pages
Published June 18th 2017 by Macmillan Audio (first published June 13th 2017)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Down Among the Sticks and Bones, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sandra It can, but it really ends with WTF?! If you do. I just finished it and it was good but I feel like I walked headfirst into a door.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,067 ratings  ·  4,022 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Emily May
Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.

I love McGuire's dark little fairy tales so so much.

I was captivated by Every Heart a Doorway last year, and couldn't wait to get into more of the author's weirdness with Down Among the Sticks and Bones. It doesn't disappoint. This second in the series is a completely new story, so it can be easily read as a standalone. But also has all the unsettling atmosphere of its predecessor.

Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love the worlds that Seanan McGuire creates and the overall concepts of her novels, but both this and Every Heart a Doorway fell just a little bit flat for me. This isn't because of her writing style, which is beautiful, but simply because the books are too dang short for me!
I will say that I enjoyed this more than Every Heart a Doorway as the plot was more focused. I actually was really loving it and invested in the story! BUT IT WAS TOO SHORT. This led to several instances of bein

ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

1.) Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★

This book is beyond words. No amount of word combinations I could possibly string together could do this book justice. This series is truly a gift from above, and I can't urge you enough to drop any and everything you're reading to pick up this or Every Heart a Doorway.

I didn't think it would be possible, but I actually enjoyed Down Among the Sticks and Bones more than Every Heart a Doorway. Once I turned that l
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Re-read 2/6/2019: Honestly Jack might be one of my favorite characters of all time. This is hands down my favorite of the series bc it is just SO GOOOOOOOD.

Re-read 1/19/18: Re-read this to prepare for Beneath the Sugar Sky and it was still SO DAMN GOOD. I stg, I like live and breathe for this series. I’m obsessed. Can’t believe I have something new in the series to pick up now! Shshshhebehshsj

Re-read 8/1/17: YES, I did re-read this two days after my original read. I loved it THAT much. Also I w
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-biggest-fear

this woman….

according to miranda, between her two author-personas; Seanan McGuire and Mira Grant, this woman has SIX books coming out in 2017. which is crazy. and some of them, like this one, are on the short side, but they are in no way flimsy, tossed-off sketches. the amount of thick detail and lingering emotional resonance here’ll make your head spin.

‘cuz while this one may be short, it sure ain’t sweet.

i mean, it’s sweet in the “OH MY GOD, MY HEART IS BREAKING” way that appe
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Childhood dreams are fun to return to, aren't they? Until you remember that childhood isn't always an easy walk through the wildflowers. Until you remember that some of those dreams can turn to nightmares quick as a flash.

This was definitely better for me than book one. While I thought book one had the same amazing atmosphere and a fantastic concept, this book had far more solid character work.

If any of you remember my review of Every Heart a Doorway, you'll remember that Jack was by far my favo
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars. My favorite of the series so far! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Since Down Among the Sticks and Bones is a prequel to Every Heart a Doorway and I was going into it already knowing where the story of Jack and Jill ends in this fantasy portal story, I was initially a little reluctant to pick it up. But it surprised me! Seanan McGuire tells this story so engagingly that I couldn’t help but savor it, despite some horrifying and heartbreaking aspects of it. I actually liked it
Emma Giordano
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars! This was definitely a satisfying sequel. I think I may have enjoyed book one slightly more, but nonetheless, I adore this series and would highly recommend books one and two!

I believe it is written in third person-omniscient, which I find is not the most common form of narration in YA. It’s always a bit tricky to get fully immersed at first, being the prose is also quite elaborate and flowery, but I’ve consistently grown addicted to her writing style with both books.

I do feel Down A
Caz (littlebookowl)
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Rating: 4.75 stars

Really enjoyed learning more about some of the fascinating characters we met in book #1, and exploring a new world!

So dark and heartbreaking.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2019
Great discussion on gender roles and a beautiful but heartbreaking fairytale-like story.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hello, darkness, my old friend. I've missed you.

That ending. Wow, my goodness I am glad I gave this one a second chance. I started this last summer, put it down to participate in a readathon and just kept forgetting to pick it back up.

Now that I have completed it, I have such a strong urge to go back and read the 1st book again. This explains so much.

Jack and Jill.
Born Jacqueline and Jillian.
Jacqueline the perfect princess, prim and proper just as her mother wants.
Jillian, a tomboy, a diamond in
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.5) I'm not 100% sure how to rate this book...

I liked it but not as much as the first one. I'm definitely planning on reading the next one since I want to hear more about the other worlds!
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#1 Every Heart a Doorway ★★★★★
#2 Down Among the Sticks and Bones ★★★★★
#3 Beneath the Sugar Sky ★★★★★
#4 In An Absent Dream ★★★★★

I genuinely did not think that anything could top Every Heart a Doorway for me, and then this book came in and blew my expectations out of the water. Seanan’s writing is always masterful and poetic, but the underlying messages she wove into this novella made it even more meaningful to me.
This, you see, is the true danger of children: they are ambushes, each and every on
Lala BooksandLala
I just adore this series.
Booktube review:
may ❀
Full review posted

I’m honestly surprised at how underrated this series is. It one of the most fantastical, intriguing stories I have read in a LONG time and boi theyre short as heck you can finish them in less than an afternoon


6 Reasons why this book is the BestTM

1. Epic narration of Jack and Jill’s backstory (yes the characters from the first book, who would have thought)
2. Creepy, dark, and eerie. Idk how the author came up with this world but it’s absolutely riveting. Ms. Plz let me in y
Ughhhhh. Why didn’t I love this book?

If there were absolutely any justice in this world at all, I’d be singing its goddamn praises right now. I’d be clambering to rooftops so I could shout my love from them. I’d be buying rhyming dictionaries (or, more realistically, googling rhymes) in order to better write my sonnets. I’d be baking cookies with stick-and-bone icing.

Scratch that last one. Sounds gross.

But it’s all a moot point, because there is no justice in this world, and instead of doing any
4.25ish stars.

Creepy and concise in the vein of the most classic fairytales and with obvious comparisons to classic horror novels, this story has a timeless feel. It's both whimsical and disturbing with a healthy dose of dark humor.

It branches off from the brilliant Wayward Children novella series, separate but necessary reading (just because it's that good). It works perfectly as a standalone and although it doesn't have a direct connection to the storyline introduced in Every Heart a Doorway
Trina (Between Chapters)
The dreamy storytelling quality of this series is amazing. Some of my favorite audiobooks for sure. Loved the exploration of gender roles and how there's no wrong way to be a girl. There is a f/f romance included.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
★★ /5

This book was fine. I really liked the themes and ideas it brought up about parents, expectations put on children. I especially liked the beginning, writing style really fitted the story and but on the other hand, I didn‘t care for the plot. The story line itself wasn‘t that interesting for me and it struggled to keep my attention.
It wasn‘t a bad book, but simply not entirely for my taste.
Raeleen Lemay
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia, own, young-adult
Read for Popsugar's 2018 Reading Challenge #30: A Book With Characters Who Are Twins

A great book to kick off the new year! I really enjoyed this one, even if a bit less than Every Heart A Doorway. I definitely hope to get to the next book sometime this year!
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
As gorgeous and as delicious as the first book. My heart feels full. I love character development, character study so it was awesome to find out more about Jack and Jill who appeared in Every Heart a Doorway.

I adore the eerie vibe this series has, how whimsical and dark it is. I believe this world exists. I’m completely enveloped in it whilst I’m reading it. But what I love more is what the undertone of the stories represent for me and as a whole.

To be who you are in a world that’s telling you
chloe ✨
4.5 stars! I looooved this!
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
This is such a gorgeously haunting sequel to Every Heart a Doorway. I enjoyed Jack & Jill's story just as much as I did Nancy's.

The idea to tell the tales of children who have returned from their own personal fantasy worlds is both unique & nostalgic.

It strikes that chord of commonality in all of us who grew up devouring the boundaries of our own imaginations, finding emotional sustenance in the idea that an owl could fly through our window with a letter confirming the magic we always
Even though I knew this was somewhat a prequel to the first Wayward Children, I still kinda hoped for more.

HOWEVER, as a straight story and judging it on its own merits, I can find absolutely no fault.
This is a story of twins being mirrored darkly, rather messed up by their short-sighted and self-consumed parents, twisted by circumstance and then later by their own choices, this entire novella is a frame and a mirror to highlight the differences between gender expectations and how it can pull a
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: 22May18 Kindle daily deal for $2.99
Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.

The thing I wanted from Every Heart a Doorway (EHaD) was more information from the other places the children went. Down Among the Sticks and Bones follows the infamous Jack and Jill from the inkling of a thought about conception to the moment they were kicked out of the Moors.

Jacqueline and Jillian were not what I expected them to be.
Heidi The Reader
Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the back story of the twins, Jack and Jill, and the dark world they wandered through.

It takes place before the events of the first book in the series, Every Heart A Doorway.

The reader learns why the twins are so different and how their strange and disturbing other world opened its door to them in the first place.

The majority of the problem was Jack and Jill's parents. They had children for reasons other than love.

The father wanted to children to move up in his
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so in love with this book (series)! Honestly, it's not every day that an author brings true magic into our world, but Seanan McGuire does just that with the Wayward Children.

This second story is a prequel to the first, telling of the events leading to Jack and Jill finding their door, what happens in their world, and how they were thrown out in the end.
First we follow the twins' parents as they come to wanting children in the first place, followed by the pregnancy, birth, the girls' first
✨    jamieson   ✨
“The Moors exist in eternal twilight, in the pause between the lightning strike and the resurrection. They are a place of endless scientific experimentation, of monstrous beauty, and of terrible consequences.”

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is McGuire's second foray into the Wayward Children series and it is excellent. Seanan McGuire managed to hit this eerie, ominous tone she maintained throughout that made it tense, and the entire world was interesting, and endearing in it's creepiness. I sh

This was fabulous! Much better than Every Heart a Doorway—though, that one was good too, only this was so much better!

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about this tiny book (It’s under 200 pages). From the beginning I loved Jack and Jill and their sweet grandmother. I loved how their parents called them Jacqueline and Jillian because nicknames aren’t “proper” or whatever & how their parents wished they could’ve changed the names because Jack was the proper one and Jill was the rambunctio
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I didn't enjoy this as much as the first book but Seanan McGuire's writing is just delightful. I loved her examination of female gender roles and stereotypes. Can't wait to read the next one!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Apex Magazine Issue 80
  • Cold-Forged Flame (Ree Varekai, #1)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary (Gemworld #1)
  • The City Born Great
  • Passing Strange
  • Penric's Demon (Penric and Desdemona, #1)
  • River of Teeth (River of Teeth, #1)
  • A Taste of Honey
  • Jem and the Holograms, Volume 3: Dark Jem
  • Lightspeed Magazine, March 2016
  • Speak Easy
  • The Red Threads of Fortune (Tensorate #2)
  • Shadowhouse Fall (Shadowshaper, #2)
  • In the Vanishers’ Palace
  • The Black God's Drums
  • Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe
  • Fantasy Magazine, October 2014: Women Destroy Fantasy! Special Issue
See similar books…
Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (, author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and

Other books in the series

Wayward Children (5 books)
  • Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)
  • In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)
  • Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)
“Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world.” 114 likes
“There are worlds built on rainbows and worlds built on rain. There are worlds of pure mathematics, where every number chimes like crystal as it rolls into reality. There are worlds of light and worlds of darkness, worlds of rhyme and worlds of reason, and worlds where the only thing that matters is the goodness in a hero's heart.” 66 likes
More quotes…