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Words of Stone

Press: Perfection Learning (September 1, 2005)
Publication Date:2005-9
Author Name:Henkes, Kevin


Blaze Werla is having a typical summer. 
He lives in the country with his father and grandmother.
He spends his days alone, wandering around the hill beside his home.Then the message appears on the side of the hill.
And Blaze's summer suddenly takes a turn toward the mysterious.
By the time Blaze meets Joselle Stark, the unexpected seems almost normal.

From Publishers Weekly

In this stirring contemporary novel set in rural Wisconsin, Henkes ( Chrysanthemum ; The Zebra Wall ) paints a poignant picture of two lonely children whose paths cross one summer. 
First introduced is shy, red-headed Blaze, who has recently lost his mother to cancer.
Now living with his grandmother and his artist father, the nine-year-old has trouble admitting his fears to anyone except his imaginary friends--until he meets Joselle, an outspoken, spellbinding girl who is staying on the other side of the hill with her Grandma Floy.
Alternately showing the points of view of Blaze and Joselle, the book traces the meshing of two private worlds where ordinary objects--keys, spoons, stones, toy animals--carry special meaning.
The fragile kinship that grows between the youngsters is threatened by an act of betrayal, yet, ultimately, deep-seated compassion and understanding help mend broken trusts.
This story, offering an exceptionally sensitive and accurate portrayal of isolation, echoes feelings and themes found in Brock Cole's The Goats.
Henkes, however, goes further in demonstrating the process of emotional healing--and acceptance of painful truths--that allows fear and loneliness to dissipate.
His vivid characterizations and profound symbolism are sure to linger in readers' minds.
Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Digital edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-- Joselle ``sets out to complicate the life of Blaze Werla'' the summer she stays with her grandmother. 
She chooses him, a neighbor whom she hasn't met, because the details of his life intrigue her.
Hard-eyed at ten, Joselle refers to her mother as ``the Beautiful Vicki,'' lies compulsively, and is an irresponsible playmate.
The boy, fearful and still suffering from the death of his mother several years before, is an easy target.
What begins with malicious playfulness does complicate lives, as the two children, both needy, become fast friends.
Emotional doors begin to open.
Joselle's early hurtful words, written in stones on Blaze's hill, are also inscribed on her legs in ballpoint tattoos that eventually give her away, revealing the pivot on which the two will finally balance their friendship.
Subplots provide texture.
Joselle's mother, supposedly on an extended getaway with her boyfriend, turns out never to have left home; Blaze's father is courting a woman whom the boy grudgingly comes to welcome; and Blaze resolves many of his fears to begin painting a long-empty canvas.
The main plot is simple and clear, giving an immediate sense that Henkes's craftsmanship is artless.
Rich characterization, dramatic subplots, and striking visual images belie that impression.
The author's respect for the complexity of young people's lives is apparent in this outstanding novel, which will find an enthusiastic readership among fans of Betsy Byars and Susan Shreve.
--Carolyn Noah, Central Mass.
Regional Lib .
System, Worcester, MACopyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Digital edition.


“Vivid characterizations and profound symbolism are sure to linger in readers’ minds.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))“[Henkes’s] characters live, lingering in the memory. 
An outstanding book.” (Kirkus Reviews (pointer))“A challenging and skillful book.” (Times Educational Supplement)“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)

--This text refers to the Digital edition.

About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the award-winning creator of many books for children, including the Caldecott Medal Book Kitten’s First Full Moon, the Caldecott and Geisel Honor Book Waiting, the Newbery Honor Books The Year of Billy Miller and Olive’s Ocean, and several bestselling books about mice, including Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and Chrysanthemum. 

--This text refers to the Digital edition.


Children's Books,Growing Up & Facts of Life,Friendship, Social Skills & School Life,Emotions & Feelings,Friendship

 PDF Download And Online Read: Words of Stone

Comment List (Total:14)

  •     I did not like it a lot at first but at the end it got better. It was easy to read and I skimmed right though it.

  •     As a fourth grade teacher I give this book a high rating. It got the students to think about family and friendship.

  •     I was so engrossed by this book that I checked for others by the author and checked out 2 from the library. Excellent writing and even though it is classified a s juvenile fiction, adults will thoroughly enjoy as I did.

  •     Have you ever done something to a friend that you later regretted? In Words of Stone, Josselle, a main character, writes something horrible about her friend Blaze, that she wishes...

  •     Great Condition! Thank you!

  •     This book teaches children that it is important to keep a good friendship.

  •     Alexandra Y. 3/12/03 Reading Response #20 Words of Stone By Kevin Henkes Words of Stone, by Kevin Henkes is an okay book.

  •     My 10 year old daughter and I both loved this book!!! Kevin Henkes is a true artist. Beautiful words. Love.

  •     I initially purchased this book because it was listed as an AR (Accelerated Reader) book at our elementary school, and also because my family always loved other stories by Kevin Henkes.Needless to say, I was not disappointed when I read the book before my children. It was hard to put down once I started. The characters are genuine and very likeable. Although the plot made me a little sad because I could associate certain characters with people in my life, there are many moments of happiness and hope throughout the book.Even though I am a stickler for the "classics" when it comes to recommended reading material for my kids, I would most certainly add this book to the list of potential must-reads. Actually, I would prefer this book be one of the mandatory books they are reading at school rather than the current list they require. It serves as a great lesson for friendship, compassion, and understanding -- something that is desparately lacking in today's youth."Words of Stone" gets a huge approval rating from this mom in Ohio. Well done again, Mr. Henkes, and thank you!

  •     This book was about a shy, fearful boy named Blaze. Ever since his mother died and he got burned in a small carnival fire, Blaze was never the same. Soon, disturbing messages written in stone appeared in his yard. They were about his mom and the fire. But he unknowingly made friends with the perpetrator, Joselle, who might as well be motherless herself. Will they ever reconcile after Blaze discovers Joselle's horrid secret? Check it out. The language is beautiful, and I could identify with Blaze because I'm quiet and fearful myself. Go get it right now!

  •     This book is amazing! It's a really interesting and thoughtful book about a boy named Blaze. Who meets this girl named Jiselle who writes these words of stone about Blaze's life. Then something goes terribly wrong and blaze gets these thoughts Jiselle and his whole life turns upside down.!

  •     Prompt delivery, book as described. No problems.

  •     Ehh not yhag goog it didng make the mostsense in the wordBut overall if yiu l ok ke dark mysteries tgen this is u rd book

  •     I read this book ten years ago, when I was only 9. Looking back I have realized that it's effect on me was profound.


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