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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane

The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane

Polly Horvath

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)


When an accident leaves teenage cousins Meline and Jocelyn parentless, they come to live with their unknown and eccentric Uncle Marten on his private island. They soon discover that the island has a history as tragic as their own: it was once an air force training camp, led by a mad commander whose crazed plan to train pilots to fly airplanes without instruments sent eleven pilots to their deaths. Jocelyn, Meline, and Uncle Marten are soon joined on this island of wrecked planes and wrecked men by an elderly Austrian housekeeper, a very mysterious butler, a cat, and a dog. But to Jocelyn and Meline, being in a strange new place around strange new people only underscores the fact that the world they once knew has ended.

Told in the alternating voices of four characters dealing with grief in different ways, Polly Horvath's new novel is a rich and complicated story about loss and the possibility— and impossibility—of beginning again.

The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

From The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane

Almost immediately I had a closer relationship to the island than I had to either my uncle or my cousin. The island with its wind and waves and pounding rain seemed alive. I wasn't so sure about...

Praise for The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane

“Horvath's exploration of the nuances of grief is pitch perfect.” —Booklist

“Richly idiosyncratic writings.” —Booklist

“A gripping, chilling tale perfect for leisure readers who demand action and insight” —Children's Bookwatch

“Readers will sink deeply into the story.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A remarkable examination of the extremes of emotional distress.” —The Horn Book

“Horvath is a gifted writer.” —School Library Journal

“Horvath's prose has rarely been more incisive: she understands the workings of grief and conveys them with uncanny accuracy and sympathy.” —Publishers Weekly

“This haunting story is balanced with the author's usual detached and quirky humor . . . Taut and weird and sad and funny.” —The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

“An engaging story.” —Library Media Connection


Reviews from Goodreads

Polly Horvath

Polly Horvath is the author of many books for young people, including Everything on a Waffle, The Pepins and Their Problems, The Canning Season and The Trolls. Her numerous awards include the Newbery Honor, the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, the Mr. Christie Award, the International White Raven, and the Young Adult Canadian Book of the Year. Horvath grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She attended the Canadian College of Dance in Toronto and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City. She has taught ballet, waitressed, done temporary typing, and tended babies, but while doing these things she has always also written. Now that her children are in school, she spends the whole day writing, unless she sneaks out to buy groceries, lured away from her desk by the thought of fresh Cheez Whiz. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and two daughters.

image of Polly Horvatho
Rebecca Keller

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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