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Stone Fox

Press: Scholastic (January 1, 1999)
Publication Date:1999-1
Author Name:John Reynolds Gardiner


Little Willy has a big job to do. 
When his grandfather falls ill, it is up to Willy alone to save their farm from the tax collector.
But where can a ten-year-old get five hundred dollars in a hurry? Then Willy sees the poster for the National Dogsled Race.
The race pits Willy against the best dog teams in the country, including the Indian Stone Fox and his five beautiful Samoyeds, who have never lost a race.
And Stone Fox wants the prize money as badly as Willy does.
Willy's dog, Searchlight, is every bit as fast as the competition, and Willy knows the terrain better than anyone.
But can one boy and one dog be a match for the unbeatable Stone Fox?


"Gardiner's description of the race and sudden climax (based on legend) is fast-paced and enveloping."--" School Library Journal"

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From the Back Cover

There's just no stopping little Willy. 
Determined to keep their farm going -- and to give his ailing grandfather a reason to live -- the ten-year-old boy hitches his dog, Searchlight, to the plow and harvests the whole potato crop.Now little Willy needs five hundred dollars to pay off ten years' back taxes, or the farm will be taken away from them.
Dauntless as ever, he stakes everything on one wild hope: that he and Searchlight can outrun the best dogsled racers in the country -- including the legendary Indian, Stone Fox.
But the huge mountain man is every bit as intent on winning the big prize money as little Willy is.
And he and his five beautiful Samoyeds haven't lost a race yet....Based on a Rocky Mountain legend, John Reynolds Gardiner's story -- like its hero, little Willy -- has all the ingredients of a winner, right down to the unforeseen drama at the finish line.

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

About the Author

John Reynolds Gardiner, an engineer by profession, has also worked as a writer adapting children's stories for television.A native of Los Angeles, he has lived in West Germany, Central America, and the state of Idaho, where he first heard the legend that is the basis for Stone Fox, his first published work. 
He is also the author of Top Secret and General Butterfingers.Mr.
Gardiner lives in Huntington Beach, California, with his wife, Gloria, and their three daughters: Carrie, Alicia, and Danielle.

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From AudioFile

Reading STONE FOX is a treasured rite of passage for school-age students. 
Few forget the dogsled race in which Willy faces Stone Fox in a chilling testimony of determination and love.
Few students, however, have a similar knowledge of Gardiner's TOP SECRET, a poke-fun look at the school science fair scene that also champions individual creativity and fortitude.
To B.D.
Wong's credit, he narrates each of Gardiner's stories in a unique manner.
For STONE FOX, Wong narrates with quiet reverence, respecting the power of the story and the bond among boy and dog and grandfather without imposing himself into the relationships.
For TOP SECRET, Wong playfully creates personas for Allen Brewster, his archetypal science teacher, his nemesis, and each supporting character.
© AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.


Children's Books,Action & Adventure

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Comment List (Total:18)

  •     My 9 year old daughter loves this book. I haven't read it yet but she started reading it in her classroom. I ordered it for her for Christmas since she loves it so much.

  •     My grandson loved it!

  •     Great book, highly recommend!

  •     One of my students' favorites

  •     This was a really good and interesting book .it was sad in the begging and it was a happy ending. This is why I say that everyone that is able to read and read this book because...

  •     I love stories about races and dogs. This is a great book for six through nine year olds. You should really tr it.

  •     My grandson had to read the Stone Fox for his summer reading project. He needed the paper version as they will be using for school. The book came two days after ordering and he started reading it right away. The book is full of details about the boy and his dog, it gives great insight into the way people live that may not be as affluent as others. It is sad but true to the way of the world and how things work out sometimes. Good book

  •     Not a fan of this book, nor is my son. Read Balto instead for an inspiring hero dog story.

  •     My grandson's second grade teacher reads this book to the class every year. Very good book.

  •     Read out loud with my children, everyday we looked forward to the next chapter. Perfect amount of adventure for my boys, with good character and heart teaching!

  •     As advertised, arrived punctually. Thank you!

  •     This was an assigned book for my 4th grader and she loved it. Be warned that the end of the book is extremely sad and my daughter was really upset. I wish now I would have read it ahead of time so I could prepare her for it.

  •     My son's fourth grade class read this for a book report. I bought it to read so we could talk about it, summarize it, write about it. I am happy that we will be able to discuss many aspects of this book about love, loyalty, perseverance, and determination!

  •     I have three copies of this book in my library. They are always checked out by 3rd - 5th graders. They really seem to enjoy it. It is a 4.0 Accelerated Reader level book. It reminds me of the story White Fang or The Call of the Wild. There is dog racing, and tragedy. It made me cry. The dog races causes the boy's dog to die. It was just too much for him, his heart burst. The good in humanity wins as the boy whose dog died giving his life for the family is allowed to win the race walking his dead dog across the finish line. There are so many good life lessons in this book. Read with a box of tissues.

  •     This was a book I read to my 3rd graders as a read aloud. As I read the last few paragraphs I nearly broke down into tears in front of my students. You could hear a pin drop in my classroom. I had to stop and pause for a few minutes before I could go on. When I finally finished the story a few of my children had tears in their eyes, but they held it together better than I did. What a heartfelt story!! We truly enjoyed it!

  •     My 10-year-old nephew recommended this book to me. It is so authentic and such a well-told story. I bought a class set with my own money for my students because I wanted to share it with them and we cried together as we read it. I love that Gardiner didn't bend over backwards trying to make it politically correct. He depicted the true culture of the time and subtly showed racism without naming it, leading the young readers to their own thoughts.

  •     This book is about life -- life is not perfect. A child sets out to achieve the seemingly impossible, and he doesn't get much help, support, or encouragement. His goal keeps driving him forward, that plus the love and joy between himself and his dog, Searchlight.The surprise ending is bittersweet. We all cried at the finish line.The adult problems -- depression, debt, and fear -- are simplified. Very young readers can kind of bypass the implications of all that adult stuff. The child character -- Little Willy -- has struggles of his own, which come through loud and clear.The implacable burden of heavy taxation comes through, too -- here comes the tax man.I read this out loud to my family of boys. We enjoyed it very much. Every chapter has at least one sketched illustration.If your older kids are interested in this topic -- a child helping a stricken parent and meeting difficult goals -- try "The Barn" by Avi.

  •     my daughter loves this book!!


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