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Literature / The Anybodies

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The Anybodies Trilogy by N.E. Bodenote  is a series of middle grade novels. It follows the adventures of Fern, a girl who was Switched at Birth with a boy named Howard who is utterly boring. She finds out that she is the destined heir of the Anybodies, people that can use books to shake out characters, or to change their form.

  1. The Anybodies (2004)
  2. The Nobodies (2005)
  3. The Somebodies (2006)


  • Anti-Villain: No one is really "evil" in the Anybody world, with the antagonist in The Somebodies being the exception.
    • The Miser is revealed to want the Anybody book because it was the last remnant of Fern's mother. When Fern confronts him, she convinces him that stealing the book or keeping it from her would be disrespectful to her mother's memory and that the Bone isn't to blame for her death. The Miser not only pulls a Heel–Face Turn but also helps her in the next book.
    • Fern and BORT's sister both convince him that the Anybody book wouldn't solve his problems. He wants to reunite with his family, and kidnapping a bunch of book characters won't solve that.
  • Can't Stay Normal: Howard is put out to learn that he can't extricate himself from the Anybody world. He can do the magic that the Bone showed him, and gets pulled against his will into another adventure at summer camp. Part of his Character Development is accepting that he may not be The Chosen One and nor would he wish to be, but that being the Chosen One's adopted sibling isn't so bad even with the exciting adventures.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Fern's impossibly boring parents the Drudgers are not actually her parents. She finds out that the Bone, an Anybody, is her actual father. Howard in the meantime is thrilled to find out the Drudgers are as mundane as he is.
  • Direct Line to the Author: N.E. Bode claims that Fern Bone sat down next to her on the subway and told her story to the then out of luck writer.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator narrates in a conversational tone and provides us with anecdotes about their awful car, how the first time they heard the Beatles and thought "They'll never last", and how dull Fern's parents are.
  • Meaningful Name: N.E. Bode
  • Parents as People: The Drudgers believe that kids should basically sit still and behave. Yet they do show an amount of concern when Fern and Howard get expelled in The Somebodies, asking if them staying with the Bone is a good idea. The part that makes them flawed is not hearing Fern and Howard's side of the story — their teacher tried locking them in a closet for punishment, and they had to administer CPR when she collapsed— while wanting to send them to military school, willing to take it to court if the Bone objects. They give up the idea when Fern and Howard run away to deal with a new problem, and the school refuses to accept them.
  • Switched at Birth: Fern and Howard. Quite ironically, The Nobodies points out that this makes them siblings when they are forced to go to summer camp together. They don't appreciate each other, but the adventure makes them realize no one else has their shared experience.