The reviews for our middle reader novel are starting to arrive and they have been very positive. This book is the first in a series. All of them have themes that are of interest to children and to their parents.
But first, here is a picture of Mr. Happy Man, who is one of the characters in the book. We found him years ago on a beach near Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Alice’s parents are separating to see if they want to get divorced or stay together. Alice is very upset at the news and her parents allow her to go on vacation to her aunt’s house on the beach. She finds herself hiding her feelings and pushing everyone away from her because she is so upset and hurt about her parent’s separation.
After finding a special rock on the beach that she can talk to, she learns that she can talk to all of the stones and play games with them. Because she has allowed her face to turn to stone, the rocks think that she is like them and together they create a plan to get her parent’s back together. Unfortunately, a woman steals her special rock and takes it back to her home. Alice learns that she is really a witch and promises that she will get her rock back no matter what.
Stone Faces is a middle-grade book that is written to help children that are going through a divorce. They’ll be able to identify with Alice and her feelings and learn the lessons that she learns at the end of the story. I really enjoyed the story of Stone Faces and the ending completely surprised me. If you have a child who is going through their parents’ divorce or separation, they will be able to identify with Alice’s story.
2READBOOKS REVIEW — September 20, 2016 — 5 Stars:
After reading this I had a big smile on my face, Alice needed a hug, I wanted to hug her. She had to face something no child wants to face when it comes to your parents. Alice thoughts and actions were realistically written in the story, I found the tale cleverly put together and I must admit the ending made me go “ahh . . . “ Stone faces, I’m sure we displayed stone faces like Alice to hide our emotions, I know I did. Few characters but it was enough not to take it away from the protagonist, Quite an imagination to incorporate stones, voices, a warty nose, friendship and wishful thinking; however acceptance finally won. I was touched, I got emotional because she surely became the title to this story, “stone face.” Thank you, BeachBoundBooks for the free digital download and to the author for a free book. Thank you! Oh forgot to mention this is not the first book I read written by this couple, I am always entertained by their stories. WONDERFUL!!!
Book Review September 22, 2016 by Vicki on Rockin’ Book Reviews: 5 Stars
I felt the book was written well. It flowed smoothly and kept my interest. It was easy to understand and was quite fitting for the age group it was written for.
I believe the characters were very believable and seemed very real.
The title and book cover totally fit the story.
I liked the imagination in the story and how it ended. I believe that young people would be very drawn into the book.
I would give the book a 5/5 literary rating.
Book Review by Cat Michaels, September 26, 2016 — 5 Stars
What Kids Will Like
Actually, children may not like Alice at first: she is mean to friends and family. But she’ll grown on kids. They’ll soon empathize with her struggle as the authors peel back layers of Alice’s despair when her parents separate during her summer vacation. Ouch.
The tale takes place mainly along the New England coast and captures the essence of summering there. (On a side note, I found the book’s cover of a smiling Alice against a cityscape confusing. That illustration did not match my view of the book’s plot and main setting, but that was a minor distraction.) The beach is where fun and fantasy creep in. Kids will fall for Mr. Happy Man and Alice’s other stone friends, who find the perfect way to support her. I love the authors’ creativity here with their fanciful, kid-friendly ‘rolling stones.’
The mean (but not scary) witch is a boo-worthy antagonist, who threatens Alice and her stone friends. Plus at 55 pages, the book is a fast, easy read that concludes in a positive way.
What Parents, Teachers Will Like
There’s fun to be had with frolicking beach stones; however, this book is a springboard to rich discussion. The first-person narrative helps kids get into Alice’s mind. They’ll understand her fragility and why she uses her stone face to protect her damaged psyche. Without diminishing the character’s legitimate emotions, the book opens doors to surfacing positive ways children can deal with hurt and anger.
Stone Faces also offers life lessons about divorce and changing family dynamics. Children learn there are different kinds of family units in society, and each unit is okay. No need for guilt or ridicule.
CAVEAT: Be prepared to answer your young reader’s questions about divorce and separation. Children in a two-parent family may want to know if their parents could split up like Alice’s.
For children of divorce, Stone Faces might surface feelings of anger or resentment that can lead to discussion and understanding. I applaud the authors for demonstrating how divorced parents still love their children, who are blameless when adults move in different directions.
I highly recommend Stone Faces for children in grade 3-6. It’s a dual-level tale rich in imaginative fantasy with its frolicking stones while also addressing real struggle with complex family dynamics.
Stitch Says Review, September 30, 2016 — 4 Woofs
Stone Faces was an interesting read. Alice is upset because her parents are separating and looking at a divorce. While on a summer holiday she finds a stone on the beach that can talk (Mr Happy Man). With the help of all the stones Alice comes up with a plan to get her parents back together, only to find herself in a darker adventure.
Stone Faces certainly has a lot of depth and is written in a way that children will understand the emotion. This would be a good book for children experiencing divorce or other troubling times. Stone Faces had good characters, an interesting plot and the story flows well. Children will relate to Alice and her emotions.
Stitch Says gives Stone Faces 4 woofs!