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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Tito the Bonecrusher

Tito the Bonecrusher

Melissa Thomson

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)


In Melissa Thomson's first standalone middle-grade novel, the beloved author of the Keena Ford chapter book series delivers a funny yet moving story about fathers, sons, and criminal justice.

Oliver "Spaghetti-O" Jones's dad is about to be jailed for a crime he didn't commit, and Oliver believes the only way to save him is with the help of his favorite lucha-libre wrestler turned action star, Tito the Bonecrusher. Together with his best friend, Brianna (a.k.a. "Brain"), and their new ally Paul "Popcorn" Robards, Oliver devises a madcap plan to spring his dad from a Florida correctional facility.

Heartwarming and hilarious, this book looks at what it takes to be a hero . . . and what happens when you realize that saving the day might not always be possible.



Around two months before Louisa’s graduation, I found out that everything was not going to be fine.

It was late afternoon on a regular weekday. I was doing homework...

Praise for Tito the Bonecrusher

*Kirkus Best Book of 2019*
*A Junior Library Guild Selection*

"Thomson's excellent middle-grade debut plumbs the absurdity and desperation inherent in a painful situation. Throughout the ordeal, Oliver battles and suppresses his grief and pain in a way that younger readers can recognize and perhaps understand amid the humor; more than anything, it's this implicit focus that makes this novel a great one. An uplifting gem." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"An engaging and entertaining story that sensitively explores the challenge of seeing flaws in oneself and those one admires." —Publishers Weekly

"[This book] will strike sympathetic chords in middle-grade readers." —Booklist

"A solid ground floor introduction to kids-will-fix-this adventures, with the lucha libre backdrop adding interest." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


Reviews from Goodreads

Melissa Thomson

Melissa Thomson has been both an elementary and middle-school teacher, as well as a literacy coach, in New York and Washington, DC public schools. She is also the author of the Keena Ford chapter book series. Melissa lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband and son.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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