Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Book Club Kit - 2018
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Instant New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2018
TIME Top 10 Best YA and Children's Books of 2018
NPR 's Book Concierge 2018 Great Reads List
Buzzfeed's 24 Best YA Books of 2018
Bustle's Top 25 Best Young Adults Books of 2018
2018 Kirkus Prize Finalist
YALSA William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist
Paste Magazine's 30 Best YA Novels of 2018
Newsweek's 61 Best Books from 2018
Boston Globe's Best Children's Books of 2018
Publishers Weekly Best YA Books of 2018
School Library Journal Best Books of 2018

With five starred reviews, Tomi Adeyemi's West African-inspired fantasy debut, and instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, conjures a world of magic and danger, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie's Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

"A phenomenon." -- Entertainment Weekly

"The epic I've been waiting for." -- New York Times -bestselling author Marie Lu

"You will be changed. You will be ready to rise up and reclaim your own magic!" -- New York Times -bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton

"The next big thing in literature and film." -- Ebony

"One of the biggest young adult fiction debut book deals of theyear." -- Teen Vogue

This title has Common Core connections.

#1 New York Times bestseller , March 14, 2018

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250170972
Branch Call Number: BOOK CLUB CHILDREN
Characteristics: 12 books (6 in each bag) (531 pages), 1 discussion guide, 2 bags.
Alternative Title: Children of blood & bone


From Library Staff

William C. Morris Finalist

LPL_VanessaR Feb 28, 2019

Zélie's world as an underdog, as a maji, as a child tethered to the whims of a ruthless kingdom does what anyone would do in her situation: fight. Orïsha is filled with the blood and bones of her ancestors and present. She faces betrayal, violence, love, and intense sadness in her quest to save h... Read More »

This is *the* YA Fantasy book of the moment. I'm purposefully not looking up about the plot to make it a complete surprise, but I know it's set in a West African-inspired world and it's recommended for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Leigh Bardugo (two authors I'm obsessed with).

From the critics

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Jun 26, 2019

In Orisha, magic has disappeared and now all maji are oppressed. Now, Zelie Adebola goes on a journey with her brother and a rouge princess to preform a ritual that will bring magic back.

3.5/5 : This book is ok. It's an average YA fantasy novel, but has a lot of potential. I enjoyed reading it. I always anticipated what would happen next, and I was frantically reading to find out. It is also admirable what this book is trying to do; basing a fantasy world off of African mythology; addressing issues like oppression, colorism, etc. in a genre that doesn't explore these topics. However, despite the strong worldbuilding, many aspects of the book were weak.

The writing in this book was ok, however, Adeyemi is very good at writing violence. There were a lot of fantasy tropes - burning down a village, a big arena battle, being kidnapped.. that just felt out of place to me. Another problem I had with this book is that there were a lot of extreme emotional moments that felt overdone and out of place. Example: transitioning from Zelie enjoying herself in the festival to being brutally tortured. The sudden change in mood and tone made it feel out of place to me. Another example included the people in the Stocks. They were described as emaciated bodies, more skeleton-like than human. If it were me, I would be horrified. But Zelie and Amari talked with them as if they were just normal prisoners. But they aren't. I also feel like the characters, especially Zelie, had room for more character growth, but I recognize this is a series so that'll likely come in future books.

What I Take Away : Even when everything was taken away from Zelie - her mom, her magic, her home, her dignity, etc. - she still stood up and fought for a greater cause, despite being afraid. That in itself is true bravery.

IndyPL_AngieL Jun 21, 2019

“Children of Blood and Bone” is the first book in the “Legacy of Orisha” series by Tomi Adeyemi. This very well-written teen book tells the story of Zelie Adebola and her great desire to bring magic—long forbidden by the monarchy--back to her land of Orisha, a mythical city in West Africa. The book highlights the exploits of Zelie and her reluctant but powerful cohort, Princess Amari. Zelie’s brother, Tzain, is a secondary character in the book (though he shows his mettle more than once), as is Prince Inan, strong in body but easily led by others. “Children of Blood and Bone” is both quest and survival tale, with magic at its heart and strong young women at the forefront.

OPL_DavidD Jun 18, 2019

Some strong world building with a return of magic story. The different narrators all had their own voices and kept the stakes personal.

Jun 06, 2019

An interesting setting, but feels highly derivative, particularly of "Avatar the Last Airbender," and it's rife with YA cliches and saddled with a badly-written romance (which is itself a YA cliche unfortunately). This is her first book and hopefully she'll improve as a writer, but I could only get about 60% of the way through this before realizing everything was so predictable that I couldn't stay engaged with it.

DPLchandra Apr 20, 2019

If you are a fan of high fantasy, you cannot miss this one. Beautifully written, Children of Blood and Bone will suck you in. Anxiously awaiting the sequel.

Apr 18, 2019

This is sure to be a winning dystopian series. With the main characters Nigerian, female and the battle between magic and the non-magic world, it is a gripping story.

Apr 01, 2019

It’s not a bad book. The writing is solid enough, but the story has been told better. While I liked the main character well enough, it is not as good as everybody told me it would be.

Mar 02, 2019


LPL_VanessaR Feb 28, 2019

Zélie's world as an underdog, as a maji, as a child tethered to the whims of a ruthless kingdom does what anyone would do in her situation: fight. Orïsha is filled with the blood and bones of her ancestors and present. She faces betrayal, violence, love, and intense sadness in her quest to save her family and magic. Tears will be shed and hope will bloom while reading. I offer it to all readers to take on, even if it's a chapter at a time when it's intense, it's worth the journey.

Feb 19, 2019

One of the best book I have read, can't wait for the rest of the series.
This is a very mind blowing read, which will vividly take you to a new world of imagination.

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Add Age Suitability
DPLchandra Apr 20, 2019

DPLchandra thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Oct 07, 2018

C_02 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jul 29, 2018

8576601_ thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 18

OPL_KrisC Jul 06, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

sarahbru17 May 11, 2018

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Oct 08, 2018

Sexual Content: Inan and Zel hug and then Inan touches Zel all over her body. There are also no more than 4 references to seduction. And the way the maji were treated by others is a bit scary. They are sometimes sent to brothels among other things.

Oct 07, 2018

Violence: Lots of people are seen dying. Even innocents. It was a bit unnerving.


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ArapahoeMaryA Aug 24, 2018

As it fades, I see the truth - in plain sight, yet hidden all along. We are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue. This truth holds me close, rocking me like a child in a mother's arms. It binds me in its love as death swallows me in its grasp.

Jun 13, 2018

Deep down, I know the truth. I knew it the moment I saw the maji of Ibadan in chains. The gods died with our magic. They are never coming back.


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Jun 13, 2018

Once, Orïsha was the land of maji, ten powerful clans, each with their own unique powers to command earth or water, life or death. But eleven years ago, King Saran conducted the Raid, cutting the maji off from their gods, and killing every practitioner old enough to have come into their powers. Only the divîners remain. Children at the time of the Raid, they will live their entire lives under the heel of the Royal Guard, derided as maggots, never coming into their inheritance. It seems that the gods have abandoned Orïsha. But tension is brewing in the royal family. Princess Amari’s best friend is a divîner named Binta, who serves as her chamber maid, and Prince Inan is hiding a dark secret of his own. Having lost her mother in the Raid, a young divîner named Zélie harbours a deep resentment for the royal family, and a longing for the Reaper powers she should have inherited on her thirteenth birthday. Instead, she trains to fight with a staff, and dreams of a day when the divîners will rise up against their oppressors. But the gods have plans to throw some unusual allies in her path.

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