The Color of Bones by Tracy Wymer

“But the Line was unpredictable. Its behavior changed all the time. Some days it did nothing. It just lay there, asleep, stretched across the park like a long, winding snake. Others it buzzed like a live wire, rippling and jumping with life, zapping anyone who came near it. You never knew what the Line was going to do. You just never knew.”

Summary: Derby Shrewd lives in a town where the Southside and the Northside are divided by the Line, which just appeared one day. Derby has been taught never to go near the Line, since it could hurt him. But one day, while throwing rocks at an old merry-go-round, he meets a Southside girl, named Zora. Zora, who can throw a base-ball faster than anyone he’s ever met, who has the biggest smile in the world, and who is always covered in mud. And life will never be the same for him again.

I recommend this book for children ages 9-12. (It says so on the back of the book, and I perfectly agree).

Wymer created a world, where children play within the boundaries of a line, a very dangerous line. And in this world, there is fun, friendship, games, and even a little love between two kids. He made an innocent Romeo and Juliet type of forbidden love between children. I was instantly thrown into this world, and I loved being able to be in sixth grade again (even though it was a different perspective than my sixth grade). I really think that you could read this at any age, and the only difference would be in the style of writing; that people older than the age I said above could read it, but that they would expect a more sophisticated writing style, while the way Wymer rights perfectly fits Derby’s sixth grade perspective.

I also liked how even though Derby is the hero, he’s not perfect. He’s brave, and funny, but he’s also reckless and at times stupid in his bravery. He doesn’t think things through all the way, and that’s what I really liked about him. He was someone you could relate to. He wasn’t just single-minded or only had one personality. Derby had a lot of different factors to him, and that was something that I really enjoyed.

Wymer did an amazing job in writing this book. I loved the characters, his writing style, and how he made the Line alive; it wasn’t just some line sitting on the ground that didn’t move. It had emotions, it had actions, it bullied people, and it really worked as the antagonist of the novel. Congratulations, Tracy Wymer, on an amazing first book.