Billy Bones: Tales from the Secrets Closet

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Billy Bones: Tales from the Secrets Closet Book Poster Image
Playfully spooky, cool, and full of imagination.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Death tries to take a soul and the person describes it, a pet is killed, a young boy is starved to death and he is described to be wasting away, but there's no death scene. A group of people are threatened by a man with a shotgun.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's a murder and attempted murder in this book. Lots of talk of the afterlife and death, but it isn't graphic or particularly scary.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old June 7, 2009

A must read for kids ages 8+.

A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!! Great book! Suitable for kids 8 and up if they are strong readers. You may get stuck at the beginning as it isn't the most exciting part... Continue reading

What's the story?

Billy Bones is a skeleton who lives in the secrets closet at High Manners Manor. Billy's parents organize the secrets, lies, etc., of the Biglum family, and they always have lots and lots to organize. When a new family member moves into the manor, things begin to change. New mysteries pop up, including secrets surrounding his own family. Billy and his new friend Millicent must unravel the mysteries before the evil Sir Biglum can wreak havoc on all their lives.

Is it any good?

BILLY BONES is great fun. It's spooky, cool, and full of imagination. Readers will enjoy hanging out with ghosts, Death -- who's known as "Uncle Grim" -- and the sinister manifestations that lurk all over the Biglum home. A series of secrets and mysteries are at the center of this story and author Christopher Lincoln guides his audience through them artfully, teasing and revealing clues at all the right moments.

This is a book that kids will have a hard time putting down. If there was ever a way to bring warmth and likeability to the Grim Reaper, skeletons, and ghosts, this book did it so successfully it feels almost normal to find a skeleton drinking cocoa in the closet. The novel has a good pace and a great message: secrets and lies are always exposed to the light of truth.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about lies and secrets. How can lies make life harder? What about secrets? Is there ever a way to keep a secret safe? What are the benefits of releasing a secret?

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate