The Stones Are Hatching

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9780060287658: The Stones Are Hatching

After centuries of undisturbed slumber, the Stoor Worm -- the World Eater -- is waking. A creature of monstrous proportions and unimaginable evil, the Stoor Worm must be destroyed. Already its murderous hatchlings are bringing terror and destruction to every corner of Britain. And an odd trio--a Fool, a Maiden, and a Horse -- is desperately trying to convince one quite ordinary boy that he alone can save the world.

Drawing upon the centuiries-old lore of Britain's Old Magic, acclaimed novelist Geraldine McCaughrean has created a bold, original fantasy. Richly textured, this gripping tale of perilous adventure is filled with unforgettable scenes of terror, heroism, and treachery in the timeless fight between good and evil.

It was from out at sea that Phelim got his first glimpse of the Stoor Worm: Alexia pointed it out to him. A mass of land thrust out into the sea, interrupting the smooth curve of the coast. Within it and behind it, the land was far higher than round about, and it had a reddish tinge to it. There was no eye, no ear, no claw, no thorny tail. It was simply a piece of land. How can you be afraid of a piece of land? Phelim, who had been expecting the fright of his life, felt absolutely nothing. The Stoor Worm was simply a morsel of legend, untrue. "It doesn't even look like a dragon," he said, half laughing with relief.

"Well, that is only the snout," Alexia said.

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Review:

"Phelim had always thought there must be more to magic than rabbits or handkerchiefs--that if it existed at all, it would be too large to palm or to hide up your sleeve." In fact, this young lad was pretty sure ghosts existed... or at least ghostly cats. His older sister and guardian, Prudence, had no tolerance for his irrational musings, but she hadn't seen the milk saucer licked dry day after day.

One morning in England in 1919, 11-year-old Phelim's life upends when he enters the kitchen and discovers a crowd of "stark-naked men and women about as tall as his waist, shaggy and matted with filth." These wild, scrabbly "prehistoric dwarfs" are glashans, people who tend the fields, invisible to humans. The whole motley crew has emerged from hiding to save the house from the Hatchlings, and for some reason they are counting on Phelim Green (newly dubbed Jack o' Green) to stop the Worm from waking up and demolishing the world.

The quirky, Oz-like odyssey that follows--fast-paced, powerful, and poetically told--is awash with Old Magic. As young Phelim plunges toward his quest, he wrenches himself out of the psychological clutches of his derisive older sister and into his own skin. Can Jack o' Green, with the help of a Fool (a "smelly old derelict" named Sweeney), a Maiden (a white-haired, upside-down-eyed girl he meets along the way named Alexia), and a Horse (the snickering "Obby Oss"), truly find the dreaded, slumbering Stoor Worm before its murderous hatchlings wreak havoc on Britain?

Award-winning British author and mythologist Geraldine McCaughrean (The Bronze Cauldron) draws on centuries-old folklore to create this rich, breathtaking fantasy. Sometimes terrifying, strangely beautiful, The Stones Are Hatching asks its readers to respect and appreciate the earth--a sacred place where everything is destroyed when we wage war, take our harvests for granted, and deny its magic. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson

From the Inside Flap:

Read by Christian Rodska
Approx. 6 hours
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After centuries of undisturbed slumber, the Stoor Worm—the World Eater—is waking. A creature of monstrous proportions and unimaginable evil, the Stoor Worm must be destroyed. Already its murderous hatchlings are bringing terror and destruction to every corner of Britain. And an odd trio—a Fool, a Maiden, and a Horse—is desperately trying to convince one quite ordinary boy that he alone can save the world.

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