Product Details
List Price:
10 to 12
5 to 7
Trim Size:
5.5" x 8.25"
Boyds Mills Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-62979-850-9
Lexile Level:

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About the Book


In this supernatural mystery set in a Virginia coal-mining town in 1942, Bone discovers that she has a Gift—the ability to see true stories in objects—and investigates whether her mother’s Gift may have led to her death. Bone sees stories when she touches everyday objects—both the happy and the sad stories of the people who owned them. When she receives an anonymous note that says her mother’s Gift killed her, Bone starts to question how Mama died—was it really the flu? Why won’t her father or Aunt Mattie discuss it? Will Bone’s own Gift kill her? As Bone tries to solve the mysteries surrounding her mother’s death, the schisms in her family, and the Gifts, she discovers that the truth can change everything. This beautifully written coming-of-age story about family secrets and learning to trust the power of your own story will resonate deeply with readers. Includes an author’s note about Appalachian tales and the WPA story-collecting project featured in the novel. This is the first novel in the emotionally resonant Ghosts of Ordinary Objects trilogy.


“Part fantasy, part mystery, and part history, Smibert’s Bone’s Gift will have broad appeal. The descriptive writing makes it easy to imagine living in a coal-mining town in WWII-era Virginia. It is clear that Smibert conducted thorough research to create a realistic setting. Fans of cozy mysteries and time travel will enjoy this book.”-VOYA  

“In a genuine voice that sucks readers into Appalachia during World War II, Smibert tells an absorbing coming-of-age story. The narrative has the feel of the Appalachian folktales that the protagonist loves so much, with a mix of realism and magic. Smibert weaves the folktales intricately into the story. Middle graders won’t want Bone’s story to end.” – School Library Journal  

“Smibert surrounds Bone with a loving, complicated extended family….(with) language, which feels real and down-to-earth, like her characters. An intriguing blend of history and magic.” – Kirkus Reviews  

“This historical fiction story with supernatural elements is the first book in the Ghosts of Ordinary Objects trilogy. The accurate use of Southern Appalachian dialect…gives the book a charming authenticity. The author’s note at the end provides sources regarding the historical accuracy of the novel and the Appalachian folklore.” - School Library Connection  

*“This mystical mystery…effectively evokes the Appalachian culture with written dialect and a cultural emphasis on storytelling that’ll snag even history-resistant readers. Readers will definitely invest in Bone’s journey. Bone’s Gift is just the opening installment of the Ghosts of Ordinary Objects trilogy.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review  

Meet the Author

Angie Smibert

Angie Smibert is the author of the Memento Nora series, which Booklist called "a gift for both reluctant and regular readers," as well as numerous nonfiction books for children, and many short stories for both adults and teens. She grew up in Blacksburg, Virginia, where her mother's family once worked in the long-closed coal mines along the New River, and currently lives in Roanoke, Virginia. Visit

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