Smiler’s Bones

All Minik wanted them to do was bury his father.

Before being brought to New York City at age eight, he had never seen a tree, let alone a building.  Everything had seemed so magical, just as promised by the great explorer, Robert Peary, who had taken Minik from his home among the northernmost-living people on earth.  But now, after becoming the talk of the town, after shaking the hands of 30,000 paying tourists before even leaving the ship, his family was dying.  Including his father.  The one they called Smiler.

Now only Minik remained — along with his memories, and his obligation to the person he had loved most.

Smiler’s Bones is based on the true story of an Eskimo boy who became an American at the turn of the twentieth century — a tale of devastation and triumph, love and betrayal, science and soul.  And how a shocking secret can become an all-consuming obsession, pitting a young boy against one of the most powerful men on earth.

•  New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
•  Bank Street  Best Books of 2006
•  Junior Library Guild Selection
•  Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Recommended
•  YALSA Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
•  ALA Notable Books for Children Nominee

(Read full reviews 1000640/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Smilers_Bones_Reviews1.pdfhere.)

BOOKLIST: “In this wrenching first novel, based on true events, Lerangis gives voice to Minik, an Eskimo boy who, along with his father and several other villagers, was delivered to New York by Arctic explorer Robert Peary ‘in the interest of science’ … [the] finale brings its now-19-year-old hero to the brink of despair and, finally, to a point of equilibrium…. The incisive emotions are unforgettable — all the more because they are culled from historical fact.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: “Chapters alternate between the naive young Minik and the mature teenager who has trouble coping with the bizarre circumstance of his youth and feelings of isolation. The first-person point of view works well as Minik ages, and vivid dreams keep him tied to his family. Minik is an unforgettable character, and issues of racism and scientific arrogance will not be lost on readers.”