One of our recommended books is Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

EVERY BONE A PRAYER


Misty’s holler looks like any of the thousands of hollers that fork through the Appalachian Mountains. But Misty knows her home is different. She may be only ten, but she hears things. Even the crawdads in the creek have something to say, if you listen.

All that Misty’s sister Penny wants to talk about are the strange objects that start appearing outside their trailer. The grown-ups mutter about sins and punishment, but that doesn’t scare Misty. Not like the hurtful thing that’s been happening to her, the hurtful thing that is becoming part of her. Ever since her neighbor William cornered her in the barn,

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Misty’s holler looks like any of the thousands of hollers that fork through the Appalachian Mountains. But Misty knows her home is different. She may be only ten, but she hears things. Even the crawdads in the creek have something to say, if you listen.

All that Misty’s sister Penny wants to talk about are the strange objects that start appearing outside their trailer. The grown-ups mutter about sins and punishment, but that doesn’t scare Misty. Not like the hurtful thing that’s been happening to her, the hurtful thing that is becoming part of her. Ever since her neighbor William cornered her in the barn, she must figure out how to get back to the Misty she was before — the Misty who wasn’t afraid to listen.

This is the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose fight is boundless, as her coping becomes a battle cry for everyone around her. Written by a survivor of sexual abuse, Every Bone a Prayer is a beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.

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  • Sourcebooks Landmark
  • Paperback
  • August 2020
  • 352 Pages
  • 9781728216218

Buy the Book

$16.99

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About Ashley Blooms

Ashley Blooms is the author of Every Bone a Prayer, credit Karen OsborneAshley Blooms has published short fiction in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, and Shimmer, among others, and her essay ‘Fire in My Bones’ appeared in The Oxford American. Ashley is a graduate of the Clarion Writer’s Workshop and the Tin House Winter Workshop and received her MFA as a John and Renee Grisham Fellow from the University of Mississippi. She was raised in Cutshin, Kentucky, and now lives in Berea, Kentucky.

Praise

“A powerful debut that will leave its mark on readers’ hearts.” —Kim Michele Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

“Magic and heartbreak… This is a vital story, beautifully written, and one I highly recommend.” —Kat Howard, award-winning author of The Unkindness of Magicians

“Searing and soothing, honest and elusive.” —Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Discussion Questions

1. Misty’s idea of inner names includes memories and sounds, things remembered and lost. What does that mean to you? Can you think of anything that would be a part of your name?

2. Compare Misty’s and William’s home lives. How are they each coping with the challenges of their families? Do they understand each other?

3. Misty thinks her family only notices her when she’s sad or hurt. Have you ever felt like that? What did you do?

4. Why do you think Misty decides to tell her mother about Penny kissing the green glass man? Was there another choice she could have made?

5. Do you think that corporal punishment is ever justified for children? Besides the physical pain, what does Misty notice and remember about being whipped with the switch?

6. How does the environment interact with Misty’s emotions? Would that relationship still exist without her empathy? How might it be different?

7. Throughout the book, Misty and Penny reach out to each other but always seem to miss. What prevents them from supporting or helping one another?

8. Misty encounters several dangers when she takes off her skin. What are they, and how does she eventually overcome them?

9. Caroline explains that she thought she could punish Earl and move on, but she might only get one of those things. What kind of justice do you think she gets in the end? Is it what she deserved?