Many Stones

Carolyn Coman

Published by Front Street
ISBN 10: 159078782X / ISBN 13: 9781590787823
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Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: A father and daughter confront each other and their own wounds in a land of loss and reconciliation. HONORS Trudi Birger Prize Honor Book Tayshas High School Reading List -Texas Library Association Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book National Book Award Finalist ALA Best Books for Young Adults Top Choice List -Children's Literature CCBC Choices Editors' Choice Top of the List -Booklist Lasting Connections -Book Links SLJ Best Books Books for the Teen Age -NYPL Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist Editor's Hardcover Fiction Choice List -KLIATT REVIEWS "Coman has deftly woven together the themes of death, grieving, and reconciliation through the characters and setting of this emotionally elegant novel." -School Library Journal "In plain words, as hard as stones, this small, riveting book connects the anguish in one family with the struggle of a country to come to terms with its savage past." -Booklist "It's an uplifting tale: harsh, complex, but lit at the end by a promise of reconciliation." -Kirkus Reviews "You read this small book in one breathless rush to the end, then go back and back again and find more to think about each time." -New York Times Book Review "There is gripping writing here, from the lightning-quick portraits of passing players to the descriptions of South Africa to the convincingly clipped conversations between daughter and father. And most important, the protagonist's emotional complexities seem uncannily true to life." -Publishers Weekly "R Coman etches with telling clarity Berry's stormy ambivalence, delicately and deliberately picking out the authentic adolescent hypervigilance. Recommended." -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "A deeply moving story." -Financial Times (London)

Review: On a two-week pilgrimage to South Africa from Rockville, Maryland, 16-year-old Berry and her estranged father attempt to come to terms with the murder, a year earlier, of Berry's sister Laura when she was volunteering at a Capetown school. Angry, sour, and ferociously cynical, Berry struggles with the concept of "truth and reconciliation," both for South Africa and in her personal life. Her father's efforts to educate his daughter about the country's political climate in the wake of apartheid are met with cold resistance: "He makes whatever is inside me catch fire. I hate everything. And I feel ashamed, which, for all I know, is why my father brought me here--Mr. Expense Account himself..." The delicious oblivion she finds underwater when doing laps on the swim team back home--or kissing her boyfriend Josh--or in the comforting stones she likes to pile on her chest when she's in her room don't seem to help her move beyond her despair and anger.

Carolyn Coman, author of the highly acclaimed and powerful Bee and Jacky, What Jamie Saw, and Tell Me Everything, seems to have direct access to the souls of troubled teens, plumbing the not-always-pretty depths of her characters. But the current-events lessons and the soul-searching of Many Stones don't redeem the novel from its heavy, depressing tone that emanates from Berry's troubled teen self. While the landscape of Berry's psyche is deftly captured, her surly stance is tiresome and relentless, not letting up until the very last pages when she has "the big meltdown" with her father, and then finally finds her voice at her sister's memorial service. (Ages 13 and older) --Emilie Coulter

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Title: Many Stones
Publisher: Front Street
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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