Review for Beth Winokur's The Willing Stone children's chapter book
Abby and her younger brother, Dean, along with their parents, have moved from California to Washington State to live with their grandparents. First, Granddad unloads about “The Folk,” a strange people living in the forest, even a ‘trickster’ crocodile that he warns Abby about. Of course Abby, facing a new school, new environment and trying to make new friends, has her own problems to deal with. Naturally, she wants to fit in. However, reality intervenes and she is almost fated to be friends with the school’s outcast, Sofia, otherwise known as ‘Bug-Girl.’ From there, Abby is off on a spectacular, fantasy adventure.Show more
One of the hardest things for many children’s authors is the presentation of serious material in an enjoyable manner. The trick is not to be pedantic. Beth Winokur pulls this off flawlessly. Themes of friendship, loyalty, nature, and even death (fantasy) are touched upon. Other themes of dislocation, fear, school pressure, and to a degree, bullying are all skillfully disguised in a thrilling adventure.
The Willing Stone features a magical and fantastic storyline, filled with positive messages for middle graders.A terrific book, don't miss it.