Only Freaks Turn Things into Bones by Steff Green
On his first day at school little Grim comes face to face with the other kids who call him weird, and a freak. Well, is it his fault his dad’s the Grim Reaper and he just happens to turn everything he touches into… ahem, bones? Poor Grim has no friends, until he meets pink-haired Suzie, a witchy girl with a bubble wand, and her kitten Boris who don’t mind that he’s different. With her help, Grim realises he’s not alone. There are lots of other kids who are different – and being different is what makes people interesting.
Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones is an easy read and Grim’s pretty sweet and likeable for a skeleton. The cartoon-style illustrations are simple and emotive with the classic Halloween greys and purples predominating. I enjoyed the attention to detail, like little Grim’s coffin-shaped lunchbox. The story discusses the worthwhile and ever relevant themes of dealing with bullying, growing up, loving who you are, and in doing so provides a satisfying conclusion.
Author Steff Green and artist Bree Roldán wrote Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones after facing school bullying themselves. A Kickstarter project, this is a valuable book for any primary school-aged child to read at home or at school. It might be a helpful tool for teachers who want to bring up the subject of bullying in the classroom. I can envision some cool school projects coming out of reading this, such as encouraging kids to create art about what makes them different. Like any ‘children’s’ book, it will probably also touch the hearts of those a bit older as well, especially as it is a topic so many, no matter their age, can relate to. This book is a great reminder to young and old alike that every person has something unique to offer, and every one of us are worthwhile.
Reviewer: Susannah Whaley