Bone's Gift (Ghosts of Ordinary Objects, Book 1)

In this supernatural mystery set in a Virginia coal-mining town in 1942, Bone discovers that she has a Gift—the ability to see true stories in objects—and investigates whether her mother’s Gift may have led to her death.

Bone sees stories when she touches everyday objects—both the happy and the sad stories of the people who owned them. When she receives an anonymous note that says her mother’s Gift killed her, Bone starts to question how Mama died—was it really the flu? Why won’t her father or Aunt Mattie discuss it? Will Bone’s own Gift kill her? As Bone tries to solve the mysteries surrounding her mother’s death, the schisms in her family, and the Gifts, she discovers that the truth can change everything. This beautifully written coming-of-age story about family secrets and learning to trust the power of your own story will resonate deeply with readers. Includes an author’s note about Appalachian tales and the WPA story-collecting project featured in the novel. This is the first novel in the emotionally resonant Ghosts of Ordinary Objects trilogy.

Praise for Bone's Gift

★ “This mystical mystery…effectively evokes the Appalachian culture...will snag even history-resistant readers. Readers will definitely invest in Bone’s journey.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

“Smibert tells an absorbing coming-of-age story...Middle graders won’t want Bone’s story to end.”—School Library Journal

“Part fantasy, part mystery, and part history, Smibert’s Bone’s Gift will have broad appeal...Fans of cozy mysteries and time travel will enjoy this book.—VOYA

“This historical fiction story with supernatural elements is the first book in the Ghosts of Ordinary Objects trilogy. The accurate use of Southern Appalachian dialect…gives the book a charming authenticity.”—School Library Connection

“Smibert surrounds Bone with a loving, complicated extended family...An intriguing blend of history and magic.”—Kirkus Reviews