City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

200px-City_of_BonesTitleCity of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

ISBN: 978-1416955078

Publication Date: 2007

Genre: Fantasy

Reading Level/Interest Age: 15 and up

Plot: Fifteen year old Clary Fray is out with her best friend Simon Lewis at the Pandemonium Club in New York City and witnesses are murder of a boy by three teenagers who are covered in tattoos carrying bizarre weapons. After being panic stricken by this, she realizes that no one but her was able to see this happen and there was no trace of a murder at the scene of the crime. This is her first encounter with the Shadowhunters, those who are sworn to remove all that is evil off of the face of the earth. Eventually she meets one of those teenagers and learns all about the Shadowhunting realm, which she will always be a part of.

Critical Evaluation: The story that Clare has developed is quite extensive and can be proven when the Shadowhunters at The Institute explain the history and the Shadowhunting realm. This whole other world includes beings that people normally hear about in fairytales, myths, and legends. Clare also creates an unusual twist between Clary and Jace. These two eventually fall in love with each other and bond really well, but they later find out that they both share the same father. This can be quite a shock for many of the characters and even the readers.

Reader’s Annotation: Clary Fray never thought about the existence of vampires, wizards, and shadowhunters. On top of that, she never would guessed that she would become involved with this dangerous world.

Author: Retrieved from Cassandra Clares official website –

“Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old.

Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called “The Beautiful Cassandra” based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and  which later inspired her current pen name).

After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favourite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again.

Cassie’s first professional writing sale was a short story called “The Girl’s Guide to Defeating the Dark Lord” in a Baen anthology of humor fantasy. Cassie hates working at home alone because she always gets distracted by reality TV shows and the antics of her two cats, so she usually sets out to write in local coffee shops and restaurants. She likes to work in the company of her friends, who see that she sticks to her deadlines.”

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

  • How would you react if you find out that you were adopted and did not know who your real parents were?
  • Would you look at your current family differently?

Challenging Issues:

  • Religious viewpoints

Defensive Maneuvers:

  • I would be sure to study and memorize the library’s collection policy.
  • The Library Bill of Rights must also be brought to the challenger’s attention stating that the library is an information institution that provides both information and ideas.
  • Have both good and bad reviews (from respected sources) about the book at hand.
  • Remember to mention the awards and honors that the item has received.
  • Be sure to listen to the person who is challenging the book and do not interrupt them while they are speaking. Try to understand where the patron is coming from when he or she states their concerns about the material.
  • When you respond to the challenger, have a calm and respectable tone informing them that the library must do all that it can to provide intellectual freedom to its patrons, young and old.

Why This Book? I find the construction of the Shadowhunter realm and its history is very well thought out. The many surprising twists had kept me captivated throughout the entire book.


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