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Reviewed by Michaela Gordoni for Readers' Favorite
The Garden Bone by Maria Magliano is a dinosaur fantasy adventure novel. But I bet you have never read one quite like this. Wenceslao Killean is a not-so-ordinary orphaned 12-year-old boy just trying to make it through life since his parents died, with his Abuela and annoying little brother. Wences comes from a long line of paleontologists but after his parents died on an excavation site, his once burning love for paleontology has waned. That is until he finds something weird in his very own San Francisco garden. A fossil, but it’s … living? Soon Wences finds himself stuck in a crazy world of talking, armor-wearing dinos with his best friend Matteo and their new companion, Jeanine. Oh, and ancient dinosaur magic? It’s real, and it's in Wences’ arm.
I thought that Maria Magliano did a great job writing this story for young people and made Wences’ character pretty relatable to pre-teens. Overall, The Garden Bone has a really unique and interesting storyline, and it is packed with action that is sure to entertain those interested in dinosaurs. I really liked that The Garden Bone had graphics in each chapter. They have the appeal as if an artistically gifted kid drew them. I thought it was exciting and adventurous. I did not expect that the real-world setting would rapidly turn into fantasy, and it suddenly made everything different. Dinosaurs are a common theme for boy-related books but the clever inclusion of Jeanine’s character gives it an appeal to girls as well.