For teachers and media specialists trying to build a multicultural collection, this will be a welcome addition. Nulwee is a Modoc Indian boy who lives in dread of the day when he will have to face the Bone Man. His grandmother has told him the frightening story ever since he was a young boy, how on the day he was born it was determined that he would be the one to face the Bone Man and bring back all the people that the Bone Man had devoured. The scratchboard illustrations add richness and depth to the story. An excellent read-aloud for this age group, as well as for older students studying Native American heritage. An artist's note and author's note is included to give additional background information about the legends and the making of the book.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5--McCurdy's stark scratchboard illustrations bring an appropriate, near-grotesque atmosphere to this Modoc monster story. Against a backdrop of a mostly black field, brisk lines streaked with subdued earthy tones deftly fashion both a malevolent creature and a likable young protagonist. Since his birth, Nulwee has been repeatedly told by his grandmother that one day he must kill the Bone Man. This huge skeletal creature who now lies asleep had, in an evil rage, drunk the river dry and devoured all of the people. Then one day, Nulwee unwittingly awakes the Bone Man, whose daily demands for food increase his strength and power. Finally, taunted beyond endurance, the boy gathers his courage and, remembering that the Bone Man's heart is in his little finger, carefully aims his arrow and destroys the evil creature. Author and artist notes give helpful background information about this rite-of-passage story. The monster element will spark children's imaginations, making this a good tale to use beyond Native American studies.--Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI