Reviewed by JodiG. for TeensReadToo.com
Jocelyn and Meline are cousins with nothing more in common than a shared tragedy; the death of their parents. Now, both girls have been sent to live with their reclusive Uncle Marten on his private island.
Jocelyn and Meline are both dealing with grief in their own way, while trying to adjust to their new surroundings. Uncle Marten seems scatterbrained and completely unable to properly interact with others, much less to offer support to the two traumatized girls.
To help, Uncle Marten hires Mrs. Mendelbaum to serve as the housekeeper and Mr. Humdinger as the butler. Unfortunately, Mrs. Mendelbaum is consumed with her own personal losses and Meline is sure that Humdinger's lurking behavior is evidence of untrustworthy actions.
Even the island they live on has a dark past. It was once used as the training grounds for pilots in a program that went terribly wrong. Now the island is littered with the wreckage of the planes that crashed during that program. And, Meline is sure that she and Jocelyn can build a plane of their own from the wreckage and escape from the island and their new lives.
THE CORPS OF THE BARE-BONED PLANE is a wonderfully written story about how differently each person reacts when faced with grief and change. It is told from the viewpoints of four of the main characters: Jocelyn, Meline, Uncle Marten, and Mrs. Mendelbaum. In addition to the main characters, author Polly Horvath has woven together a rich mixture of people and plots to provide an enjoyable reading experience.