Skinnybones by Barbara Park


“I had to admit, making people laugh was a lot more fun than sitting quietly at my desk.”

Alex makes people laugh – often intentionally, but sometimes not. He is always the smallest kid on his Little League baseball team, but when faced with a year of being in the same class with the area’s star pitcher, Alex aims to do better. In Skinnybones, his intentions, though, can’t make up for his lack of ability, so he tries more humor.

One of the teachers at my girls’ school starts the year reading Skinnybones out loud to her class. I decided to read it, too, to find out what was so captivating about this story. I can see why she chose it – the story moves fast and almost everyone can relate to some aspect of Alex’s life. During the chapter where he’s playing a baseball game, she lets the students come to school dressed in baseball gear.

Here’s one daughter’s take on the book:

” I would recommend Skinnybones to 7 years old and up. Skinny bones is a funny story which will make you laugh from the start. It’s about a boy named Alex Frankovitch who has to face the troubles of being a 5th grader with the biggest mouth on the Little League baseball team. The only thing that can make it worse is that a kid named T.J. (best baseball player in the league) ends up in his class!

Here’s another daughter’s view of the book:

“It’s an amazing book. Funny, real and modern while still teaching a lesson!”

I liked how not everything worked out well for Alex in the end, but he found out that he has a strength in his ability to make people laugh. He may not be the best baseball player, but he can do other things.

I would recommend this to upper elementary school kids so they can grasp the humor and understand that it’s fiction (there’s a small bit of physical violence on the playground). It has a good message and it’s a fun read. (My husband’s favorite author from that age was Barbara Park.)

Have you read any Barbara Park books? Which is your favorite? Comment below!

Buy the book here (affiliate link).


About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.