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Bruchac, Joseph, 1942-
New York : HarperCollins, 2001.
IL 5-8, RL 5.3
ISBN 0060290765

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

This is a very scary story. Since she was very young, sixth-grader Molly has been told the Mohawk legend of the Skeleton Man by her father. In the legend the Skeleton Man eats all the people of the village. The heroine is a young girl who is helped by a rabbit and reverses the curse. One night Molly dreams about the legend and when she wakes up her parents are gone. Not long after her parents' mysterious disappearance, a formerly unknown great-uncle shows up and is given custody of Molly. He locks her in her room at night and she suspects he is drugging her food. Perhaps the legend can help her escape his clutches and rescue her parents.  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003-2004)

Booktalk #2

Molly refuses to believe that her parents are gone for good.  Yes, they didn't come home on Saturday but that doesn't mean they won't come home.  She tries to hide their absence from the authorities but by Wednesday, they know.  Molly is taken in by Social Services and the police start looking for her parents.  When a stranger arrives to claim Molly, she is very suspicious.  As far as she knows, there are no relatives.  And this man shows up out of the blue claiming to be her long lost uncle.  She may not believe it but the social worker does.  Molly is sent to live with the uncle.  Molly knows she must be imagining things but why does it seem that the uncle doesn't want her to see his face?  Why does it feel as if he's drugging her food to make her sleep?  And why does he lock her in her room every night?  Could he be the Skeleton Man her father used to tell her about?

Booktalk #3

Sixth grader, Molly Brant, relies on her “warrior-girl” courage in this scary tale that mixes Mohawk lore and tradition into a contemporary story. After Molly’s parents disappear, an eerie, stick-thin old man arrives claiming that he is her “uncle.” After Molly moves into the “uncle’s” house, she continues to look for her parents and to find someway out of the “uncle’s” clutches. Molly finally finds the answers by interpreting her dreams and by staying true to the enduring strength and courage of her Native American women ancestors.  (Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award Program, 2004-2005)

SUBJECTS:      Psychopaths -- Fiction.
                        Kidnapping -- Fiction.
                        Mohawk Indians -- Fiction.
                        Indians of North America -- New York (State) -- Fiction.


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