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  • April 2010
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Crossing Stones

Just in time for National Poetry Month comes this new title from Helen Frost, author of Keesha’s House.  The verse that tells the story in Crossing Stones is intricately structured but doesn’t read that way.  It’s like listening in to someone’s thoughts during their most important moments.

In Crossing Stones we hear about a year in the life of two Michigan families separated by a creek — the Normans and the Jorgensen’s.  Muriel, Ollie, and Emma narrate the events of 1917 from their very different perspectives.  Muriel is more intent on rocking the boat than settling down as a wife, Emma worries about her brother fighting World War I overseas, and Ollie just wants to join up even though he’s only 16.

I remember feeling like I’d never stop studying the two World Wars when I was in high school, so this wasn’t a book that I would normally pick up.  Luckily, an interview with the author swayed me, and I was happily treated to an immediately intense examination of life back in 1917.  The poetic format ensures that the plot avoid Sweeping Epic and Historical Detail–I’m sure the details were quite accurate, but the focus is on the moments of the characters’ lives–for example, when Muriel is being chewed out by her teacher:

            “I’d better straighten out my

      mind?  No thank you , Mister Sir Secretary

   Reverend General Your Honor, I think

but do not say. I like the way my mind meanders

 the creek that flows into the northern tip

   of Reuben Lake, out to the southwest side

      into the Little Betsy River, and on and on

         from there to who knows where, until

            eventually it joins the wild sea.”

Check out a copy of Crossing Stones at your local library today!

Other titles by Helen Frost:

Diamond Willow: “In a remote area of Alaska, twelve-year-old Willow helps her father with their sled dogs, unaware that the animals surrounding her carry the spirits of dead ancestors and friends who care for her.”

Keesha’s House: “Seven teens facing such problems as pregnancy, closeted homosexuality, and abuse each describe in poetic forms what caused them to leave home and where they found home again.”

3 Responses

  1. love the excerpt you shared…will definitely look this one up…

  2. neat!
    wonderful information!
    thank YOU!

  3. thanks for the reviews and information

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