Reading the Bones Bones header

Blackie Spit

Life throws 12-year-old Peggy Henderson an unexpected curve ball when she is forced to move to the quiet town of Crescent Beach, British Columbia with her aunt and uncle.

Without a father and her mom half way across the country, Peggy grows increasingly unhappy with her situation until one day when she and her uncle start digging a pond in the backyard and she realizes the rock she's been trying to pry from the ground is really a human skull!

Two skeletons

Peggy eventually learns that her home and the entire seaside town were built on top of a five-thousand-year-old Coast Salish fishing village. With the help of an elderly archaeologist, a woman named Eddy, Peggy comes to know the ancient storyteller buried in her yard in a way few others can -- by reading the bones. As life with her aunt and uncle becomes Basketweavermore and more unbearable, Peggy looks to the old Salish man of the past for answers.

Reading the Bones was nominated for the 2009 Silver Birch Award and the 2009 Langley Book of the Year Award.




Teaching guide


"Gina McMurchy-Barber has written a very engaging story….The pace of the story is excellent….the plot and characters are always moving and unfolding….The characters are very engaging and highly realistic. The educational aspects don't bog down the story, and the morals and lessons of the story don't feel heavy-handed. Reading the Bones is an excellent story that shows the importance of the past to the present, but also the importance of learning who you are." Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen, CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 19 . . . . May 16, 2008

"Reading the Bones is an excellent introduction for middle school kids to the tough questions about the complex world of First Nations archaeology and cultural resource management… Much of the plot is dedicated to the ethical issues in cultural heritage preservation: collecting, indigenous people's rights, and the perennial who-owns-the-past question. Interlaced through it all are descriptions of what prehistoric Coastal Salish life might have been like. Peggy's adventure includes a fairly accurate distillation of some of the issues surrounding small scale cultural resource management, and as such it is useful and an entertaining way to learn about modern archaeology." K. Kris Hirst, About.Com: Archaeology

"If you want to find out the ending of this fantastic tale then you have to read the book. This book definitely had its ups and downs! Sometimes I was on the edge of my seat while others I was crying. Reading the Bones was a great book with a surprise ending. If I were to rate this book out of 10 I would rate it 10 because it was so well written. I would recommend this book to everyone!" Bookworm, age 10, www.buildingrainbows.com

Please support your local booksellers! Two of Gina's favourites are: Black Bond Books  and Kidsbooks

Gina's books are also available at fine booksellers everywhere, and online at Amazon.com

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