Small Bones

Small Bones

Author: Vicki Grant
ISBN: Paperback (9781459806535), Audiobook and Ebook (epub and PDF)
Publication: September 29, 2015

Dot, whose name reflects her stature, has always had big dreams—but her dreams have to be put on hold while she searches for the truth about her parents. She gets a job as a seamstress at a lakeside resort in rural Ontario and falls hard for Eddie, a charming local boy who is equal parts helpful and distracting as Dot investigates her past. Searching for answers to questions about her birth, Dot learns more than she ever wanted to about the terrible effects of war, the legacy of deceit—and the enduring nature of love.


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I wanted to find my parents. I wanted to find out who I was, where I came from, all that stuff. But that was only part of it now and not even the best part.
     I was in it now mostly for other reasons. The way Eddie’s face kind of lit up when I mentioned something he hadn’t thought of yet. The way we didn’t even have to look at each other to know we were both thinking the same thing. The way we could sit happily for hours, ruminating on the craziest scenarios. It was like the best daydream I’d ever had. A wild story racing ahead of me. My imagination, for once, the little fat kid at the back, screaming, “Wait for me! Wait for me!”

Awards and Reviews

2016 - CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

[Audiobook review] "Dot is a believable, vulnerable, likable and sympathetic character. An absorbing, well-told story. Jules Price captures the time and the characters well...This is a good one to offer to reluctant readers and those reading below grade level. The interest is high and the action is just right." —Youth Services Book Review, November 21, 2015

"With their accessible themes, these short titles [in the Secrets series] are great for reluctant readers interested in the 1960s...Highly readable historical fiction." —School Library Journal, November 1, 2015

"Enjoyably light, linear and buoyed by a solid concept and striking retro packaging, this is what Don Draper's daughter would have read at 13." —The Globe and Mail, October 16, 2015

"Grant weaves a loaded story about a pregnancy that was kept hidden and a birth that was obscured from small-town gossip...Dot is able to piece her story together from a patchwork of details, is heart-warmingly trimmed with a happy ending or two. In fact, Vicki Grant, with her light-touch and say-it-straight writing manner, makes sure that it's 'Better than any fantasy' (pg. 239) that Dot could ever have imagined." —CanLit for Little Canadians blog, October 8, 2015

"Dot is motivated to discover who she really is. Her relationship with Eddy is rocky but real, and both the main characters and the supporting casts are well rounded and fully developed. The setting is fascinating, and the dynamics of small town resort life are well explored. Fans of romance and mystery will appreciate this book."" —VOYA, October 1, 2015

"Instantly captivating and readers will be unable to put it down. Full of mystery and deceit, the story flows effortlessly in Dot's journey to find her parents. Romance, mystery, humor, and great writing await readers, who will be looking forward to the rest of this truly unique series." —VOYA, Teen Reviewer, October 1, 2015

"Dot's tale is part of the Secrets series: seven books that tell the stories of the girls who leave the home and travel in search of their identities. If this volume is any indication, they will be effective mixtures of historical fiction, mystery, and romance—and good fodder for high/lo readers as well. A smart graphic design and dedicated website should further interest in the concept." —Booklist, October 1, 2015

"[Dot] is a strong if naïve character who gradually comes to understand that she may never know who her parents really are...There are some interesting historical references to pop culture in the 1960's, as well as the lives of the veterans of World War II. Teenage girls will appreciate this story of summer love and an orphan's quest for the truth about her life." —Resource Links, October 1, 2015

"Grant 'salts' her plot with clues, some genuine and others appropriately misleading...[She] also effectively recreates the social dynamics displayed by the residents of a small town...Recommended." —CM Magazine, September 4, 2015

"In a witty and believable 1964 Ontario, a foundling teen investigates the circumstances of her own birth... The novel has an eerie, slow build, with a sense of danger increasing with each secret unearthed... Clues come at just the right pace for the readers to crack the puzzle right along with the protagonist in this mystery." —Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2015

"Punctuated with nuggets of fresh and surprising description...In the hands of talented writers, a set of rules can lead to some highly enjoyable and varied reads." —Quill & Quire, September 1, 2015