Milford, K. (2010). The boneshaker. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Steam Punk
Reading/Interest Level: Ages 10+
Similar Titles: Hunger Games
Plot: Thirteen-year-old Natalie Minks loves to tinker with machines; she works in her mechanic father's shop. Her main interests are in making automaton – or machines that move, clockwork machines like a small flyer. The town of Arcane, Missouri is a little town where things are very different from the ordinary things you'd expect to happen in the early 1900s. Natalie's mother has told her about the blues musician who had a showdown with the Devil at the crossroads…raised with stories like this Natalie begins to wonder if certain things may be true. When Doctor Jake Limberleg's Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show comes to town she begins having visions; soon she realizes she may be the only one to stop evil from winning.
Personal Thoughts: I thought that this book was very steam punk/sci-fi as well as a little fantasy. Natalie must problem solve and figure out creative ways to keep everyone safe. There are scary parts in this book, as well as some creepy bits – it is an edge-of-your-seat one minute to a hide-under-the-covers the next, book. The book deals with Natalie's mother's illness, so there are some serious tones to what the author wrote. This book also deals with pacts with the devil, so it may not be a good choice for all.
On a side note - the boneshaker is also the name of one of the first types of bicycles (^_^)
the name boneshaker was "used from about 1869 up to the present time, to refer to the first type of true bicycle with pedals, which was called "velocipede" (from the Latin for "fast foot") by its manufacturers. "Boneshaker" refers to the extremely uncomfortable ride, which was caused by the stiff wrought-iron frame and wooden wheels surrounded by tires made of iron." - Wikipedia