Cover image for Skullcrack
Bo, Ben.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[Minneapolis] : Lerner Sports, 2000.

Physical Description:
161 pages ; 22 cm
Jonah, a troubled boy who escapes from his dreary life with an alcoholic father by surfing on the coast of Ireland, discovers that he has a twin sister with whom he has an unusual mental link.
Reading Level:
700 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.0 6.0 44866.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.3 11 Quiz: 21156 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Jonah doesn't need help, not from anyone. He and his dad are making it just fine. Who cares that everyone thinks they are a bit crazy or that they call his dad a drunk? Jonah doesn't have to listen to any of it, he can just escape to Skullcrack, a beach cove where he goes to surf and think and be alone. Because, while everything else is uncertain or frightening, the joy and freedom he feels while surfing make life worth living for Jonah. It is while at Skullcrack that Jonah first sees the strange vision of her, the mysterious girl he seems to know as well as he knows himself. Who is she? In a journey that takes him across an ocean and into the eye of a hurricane, Jonah solves the mystery of her identity and along the way discovers his own.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. As in The Edge (1999), Bo tells another action-filled story of a conflicted teenage boy drawn to extreme sports. Jonah surfs along the coast of his Irish town to escape his alcoholic father. When Dad's abusive behavior escalates into a violent episode that lands Jonah in the hospital, Dad stops drinking and family mysteries begin to unravel: Jonah has a twin sister who was put up for adoption as an infant when their mother died. Father and son travel to Florida to reunite with Bo's twin just as a hurricane hits the coast. Bo's plot is ambitious, weaving together mysticism, the cult surrounding surfing, Celtic lore, and serious family problems. With so much going on, some of the characters and the plot seem underdeveloped and melodramatic. But the vivid descriptions of surfing (filled with Jonah's awe of the natural world), the relentless action, and Jonah's success in weathering the chaos around him will draw both strong and reluctant readers. --Gillian Engberg

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-A lot of sound and fury signify an overwritten/overwrought tale. It is a surfing adventure, set primarily in Ireland, in which Jonah has a rather miserable existence. His father is notorious as the town drunk by night, employee of the cannery by day. Jonah often skips school, finding solace in the magnificent surf at Skullcrack, a slab of granite reef that catches waves off the Atlantic. His only friend, Megan, defends him when others ridicule his strange behavior and his stories about seeing ghostly figures in the Irish mist. The unhealthy status quo is broken when a mysterious stranger arrives plying Jonah's father with alcohol and giving Jonah an ancient bone inscribed with Celtic figures. His parting words warn the teen to beware of Edwin. Jonah discovers that he has a twin sister (who also loves surfing) living in the U.S. A suddenly repentant father, jubilant Jonah, and killer hurricane Edwin converge on Florida for a rather dramatic meeting of the long-separated twins. The plot is twisted in several directions, there are gaping lapses of logic, and characterizations are superficial. Surfing devotees may be disappointed by the little time spent on the waves. Reluctant readers drawn by the handsome book jacket may be lost in the protagonist's psychological struggles. For fans of the supernatural, recommend Robert Westall and Lois Duncan, the king and queen of YA suspense.-Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.