3 out of 4 stars
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The Bone Whisperer: The Adventures of George and Flanagan Book II by DS Allen is a young adult novel about the adventures between George and his beloved dog, Flanagan. George, Flanagan and his two best friends, Dougie and Katie, are looking for treasure in their small hometown in Ireland. They discover that Tam McMaster, the wealthiest person in town, is going to destroy the local quarry by building a housing development. George and his friends are on a mission to save the quarry because it is home for many local animals. They hatch a plan to find the hidden treasure of O'Malley and use the prize to rescue the quarry.
Even though this book is the second in a series, the plot line mainly stands on its own. I did not read the first book and that did cause me to miss a part of the story that is brought up in this second book. George and his friends mention several times an incident at Headmaster's Cave, which I concluded happened in book one. I had to piece together the events of this incident while reading, and to a reader that can be confusing and cumbersome. The ending was very vague and left me with unanswered questions. I hope the author plans to write a third book in order to complete the story and tie up loose ends.
The author is originally from Ireland and the reader can pick up quickly on the Irish influences from the writing. As an American, there were a few phrases that I could not picture a middle school aged child saying. One such phrase appeared on page 49 stating, "You've a face on you like a slapped behind". I think this is an interesting way for a child to say someone appears grumpy or angry. I am not suggesting the language needs to be change, I am only pointing out that some readers may find themselves questioning certain sentences and phrases. Overall the writing flowed well and kept me interested in the book.
I think the author captured very well the feeling of a middle school child trying to save a special place in their town. George and his friends want to do right by the animals and plants that call the quarry home and at the same time are very impulsive, as most children are, regarding their decisions on how to accomplish that goal. I found myself interested in finding out more about O'Malley's treasure and map, but felt some scenes in the book could have been removed as it did not offer information to the reader that would help move the story along. This is prevalent particularly in the ending chapter. I did find a few small grammar and writing mistakes, including a few missing words.
I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars. I chose this rating because of the grammar mistakes and because I think this story could use a little polishing. This book kept my attention for most of the time but, as I stated previously, I did find the ending confusing. I would recommend this book for older middle school readers, targeting 5th to 7th grade, or adults who enjoy a simple chapter book read.
The Bone Whisperer
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