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Words of Stone Hardcover – Import, 16 September 1992

3.9 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

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Amazon.com Review

Every year for the past five years since his mother's death, 10-year-old Blaze has buried an imaginary friend beneath a stone marker on a hill near his house. Every July he creates a new friend, hoping that this time his make-believe companion will help him overcome his phobias--fears that have plagued him since he lost his mother to cancer. One day Blaze discovers that someone has used his stone grave markers to spell out his mother's name, "Reena." Feeling frightened and spooked, he cannot fathom who or what could have written this tormenting word.

Unbeknownst to Blaze, young Joselle Stark has recently moved into her grandmother's nearby farmhouse after being abandoned by her self-centered mother. When Joselle hears about Reena's death, she feels darkly compelled to write disturbing messages to Blaze, using the stones she finds on the hill between them. In this book, as in his others, Kevin Henkes eloquently builds sympathy for the perpetrator as well as the victim, helping young readers understand the traumas and insecurities that cause people to lie and hurt others. When Joselle and Blaze eventually meet and become friends, Joselle hides the truth about the words she once wrote in stone. But when the lie is revealed, Henkes does not create a swift or easy resolution. Instead he becomes more graceful and paced in his writing--allowing the reader to savor the intricacies of betrayal, rejection, and reconciliation. ALA Notable Book, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Publishers Weekly Best Book, Horn Book Fanfare Honor List. (Ages 10 and older) --Gail Hudson


“[Henkes’s] characters live, lingering in the memory. An outstanding book.” -- Kirkus Reviews (pointer)

“If you know Henkes only as a writer/illustrator for younger children, this book will be a pleasant surprise.” -- Chicago Tribune Books

“What readers will love about this book is the friendship between these two very different loners.” -- ALA Booklist

“A challenging and skillful book.” -- Times Educational Supplement

“Vivid characterizations and profound symbolism are sure to linger in readers’ minds.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Product details

  • Publisher : Greenwillow Books; 1st edition (16 September 1992)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 160 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0688113567
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0688113568
  • Reading age : 8 - 12 years
  • Item Weight : 404 g
  • Dimensions : 15.24 x 1.65 x 22.86 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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John M.
5.0 out of 5 stars with excellent character development
Reviewed in the United States on 12 June 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
Reviewed in the United States on 25 October 2014
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Isabella Altamirano
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome,wonderful,and a really great book
Reviewed in the United States on 14 December 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars Words of Stone
Reviewed in the United States on 28 August 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on 26 February 2015
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