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My partner snuck up to bed to have a Sunday afternoon nap after a stressful week at work. After half an hour I started to hear him giggling incessantly. Mystified, I crept up to have a look and found my youngest daughter reading him ‘King Bones’. I joined in and absolutely loved this absorbing, daring and beautifully written book. The quality of prose seems better than many children’s books, somehow managing to be both sophisticated but simple at the same time. The enchanting story is refreshingly imaginative and the characters quirky and fun whether they are goodies or baddies. My daughter, who is a mad Harry Potter fan, said this book was better as there wasn’t a single boring page. A must read for children, gripping and racy enough for those who struggle with reading but from a selfish point of view great to read aloud as a bedtime story.
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Although this is written for kids, there's plenty of dark humour to keep adults hooked. A great read.
A rollicking, hilarious, page-turning romp. Chris Hallatt Wells’ understands what keeps children gripped and writes with wit, originality, energy and fun. Beautifully irreverently written with energy, originality fun and style. The characters burst from the page, the gleeful prose glitters, the plot never lets up the pace. He’s got really big ears though.
Bridget Jones' Diary
Unputdownable - a masterpiece. Well-versed and impeccably witty. Simultaneously funny in a light-hearted manner and dark in a penetrating way - unmistakably British. A great book for children and adults alike.
Brilliantly Bonkers. King Bones is a story packed with humour and invention that spreads through its pages like wildfire. A rattling good read, certain to ignite any reader’s imagination.
Gareth P Jones
The Thornthwaite Inheritance & The Considine Curse
There are lots of hilarious lines in this quirky and highly amusing adventure and author Chris Hallatt Wells plays beautifully with language, while also challenging stereotypes.
A fantastic thought provoking read
INIS The Children's Book Ireland magazine
...a brilliant read full of dark energy. The cleverly worded plot gives this book bags of personality and a little uniqueness, in my opinion. It is a rollicking hilarious, page-turning narrative that will have you gripped to the bones. I LOVED THIS BOOK!
King Bones is an adventure which appeals to children’s sense of macabre. It’s humour which will appeal to fans of Gareth P Jones and Chris Priestly. It’s fun to see a story about a child who becomes a master thief which isn’t apologetic for the fact. It’s not a new thing – Oliver Twist has endured for centuries – but I suppose given the natural shape of a story, it is usual for a protagonist to develop beyond their thieving ways. Not so here, and I’m glad. Danny and Audrey are good characters, good people, who have an adventure. Most children understand the boundary between life and fiction. Theft can be fun in fiction.
Delightfully inventive and funny, this would be a great book to read aloud with an older child. Packed with wonderfully memorable characters and some amusingly gruesome and vivid descriptions, this would appeal to Dahl or Walliams readers and even reluctant readers. There is plenty of wit and intelligence to amuse the adults, who can always threaten to adopt the rather unconventional child rearing methods featured in the book.
Danny; his parents imprisoned for stealing the crown jewels is sent to live with Auntie Ratbag. He's isolated in a community of simply vile people yet manages to maintain his wits, befriend a living skeleton and deliver some of the most original moments in kids writing. The characters have stayed with me long past finishing the book.
Really looking forward to finding out if an insect recipe book will follow as dying to try some of Danny's fathers cooking.
Really cool. A page-turning story.
I read [King Bones] over half term and confess I really enjoyed it! When I started this book I thought, 'oh no, not another mix of Roald Dahl/David Walliams gory silliness' bandwagon writing, with the usual poor 'orphaned' child being sent to stay with awful relative in slum conditions but making good despite the circumstances. However as the story progressed it became so much more and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I'll... definitely be putting 'King Bones' in our school library and promoting it to year 6 children.
Librarian, Newton Prep School
My son, aged 11, will find every reason not to read a book. But this book has somehow, some magical way, broken through. He loved it! The characters, the story have grabbed him and my only question for the author is: when is the sequel?
At last! A book for boys who have no interest in reading!
Having just finished ‘King Bones’, I am buzzing with adrenaline, & quite exhausted! After joining Danny & Audrey on their adventure, culminating in the fiasco at The British Museum, I haven’t had so much fun since I was at primary school. Now I’m just dying to know the identity of that man (or was it a woman?!) in the shadows! The sequel please! It was fabulous (& wonderfully rude!)
This book is great fun - a real find. The story is pacy, and wacky in a way kids will love. The story is gripping. The characters are varied and well thought out. And the story is very gently sprinkled with historical allusions and wisdom, without being in any way heavy. It might suit a wide age range, perhaps 8-14+ years old. It made me think of David Walliams, but pacier and the author has his own distinctive voice. I'm pleased I read it before giving it to my niece for her birthday!
Great fun, and subtly thought provoking
A very humorous and well-written book that had both myself and family laughing from start to finish. I particularly liked the description of 'Aunty Ratbag', a person whom we would never wish to meet in real life!!! As with all good children's books, there is also plenty to entertain the adult reader.
What the really important people are saying (i.e. YOU!)...
Best book I have ever read.
King Bones is an amazingly written book, every page is as interesting as the last. All the characters are so unique and they have so many different aspects about them, from the hero and loveable Danny, to the evil and ghastly Auntie Ratbag. The book is full of humour and excitement, and I could never put it down. It is the best book I have ever read, and I can’t wait for the next one!!
I think King Bones is a must read for anyone who knows about the Anglo-Saxons It perfectly combines history with adventure. With a new surprise around every corner!
Alfie & Ronnie
Fantastic. My only criticism is that, for all this enjoyment, the book isn’t longer. Did I mention it was irresistibly funny?
Finn, age 11
This may seem like a miserable story, but never fear for this book is not all snivel. It has such a gripping storyline I could hardly put it down. King Bones is exceedingly outstanding and hilarious. I would most definitely recommend it for ages 7-11 but this is only a recommendation, so you can choose to read it or not.
Brilliant description, especially of the skeleton army. My favourite character is King Bones because he is funny and a caring soul. Well, if skeletons have souls. I think Chris Hallatt Wells will have to write a second story because of the wonderful mysterious ending.
James, age 10
This book is jam-packed full of adventure and mystery. It’s brilliant! You never quite know what to expect next as you turn the page.