Danny and his father have moved from town to town, trying to stay one step ahead of their grief over the death of Danny's mother. Now they've landed in Harvest Cove, tucked away in Canada's Big Empty, during an especially severe winter. One night a large, vicious creature attacks and bites Danny; a couple of days later, it also crosses paths with Danny's friend Howie. Looking through newspaper archives, the boys discover a pattern: every harsh winter, Harvest Cove teens begin disappearing. First the teens get attacked, then they turn delirious, and two weeks later they vanish into the night. Or, as Danny and Howie suspect, the creature returns to claim them.
JLG Release: Feb 2009
Awards & Honors
2009 ALA Best Books for Young Adults; IRA Young Adult Choices for 2010
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Guide, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal
Junior Library Guild
Drawing on the Native American myth of the Windigo, Graham McNamee creates a terrifying and memorable creature capable of Bonechiller is a creepy, atmospheric thriller, sure to keep readers up at night—either because they won’t be able to stop reading or because they’ll be too scared to fall asleep after what they’ve read.
Drawing on the Native American myth of the Windigo, Graham McNamee creates a terrifying and memorable creature capable of stalking victims through their dreams and into their waking hours. Its large eyes gleam silver, its hide is pale as snow, and when it opens its jaws, it reveals “row after row of curved white blades reaching all the way down its throat.”
As the story progresses, the monster becomes even more menacing, thanks to the strange resonance between the story’s psychological and supernatural aspects. Danny’s mother died of a brain tumor. As her health deteriorated, Danny remembers, “[S]he’d forget my name. Her brain would short-circuit, and she’d swear and scream these horrible things at me.” The monster, too, enters its victims’ minds, dislodging reality more with each invasion. And like the painful memories of his mother that Danny tries to shut out, this monster can’t be outrun. It can only be faced.
Luckily, Danny has three friends with whom to face it: Howie, the genius hypochondriac; Pike, Howie’s thrill-seeking older brother; and Ash, Danny’s tomboyish love interest. The friends’ many eccentricities and quick-witted banter counterbalance the book’s cryptozoological horrors. Danny’s tender scenes with Ash provide some much-needed relief from McNamee’s expertly paced—which is to say, heart-stopping—chase scenes.
5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Level 3.8; Points: 9;
Scholastic Reading Counts
Level 4.3; Points: 17;
Potentially Sensitive Areas
Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Violence: Mild Violence
Barren areas, Thrill rides, Pedophiles, Revenge, Arson, Boxing, Girlfriends, Being chased, Fierce creatures, Losing a parent, Grief, Claws, Animal tracks, Missing children, Army brats, Frankenstein, Prejudice, Nightmares, Running away, Snowmobiles, Celebrations, Pyromaniacs, Bull riding, Brain tumors, Sexual desire, Furnaces, Ice fishing, Hospitals, Confessions, Body temperature, Legends, Evil, Animal lairs, Police, Choices, Saving a life, Hunting, Land mines, Bait, Explosions, Lies, Tattoos, Making a home,