Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Stone Girl's Story by Sarah Beth Durst

The Stone Girl's StoryMy name is Mayka, and my father has died. The etchings on our stone bodies are fading, and the marks are what give us life. I'm leaving our home on the mountain for the first time, and I must find a new stonemason to fix the carvings. I'm happy that Risa and Jacklo are with me. The stone birds can fly ahead to warn me of danger, although Jacklo tends to get distracted and off course. We've met a small, stone dragon named Si-Si, and she's helped us find the city of Skye. Unfortunately, the Stone Quarter is closely guarded, and Jacklo didn't returned from exploring behind the wall. We've now managed to sneak inside and found a highly-skilled stonemason who fixed Jacklo's wing! However, I've examined the new carvings used to heal my friend, and something isn't right. I fear the stonemason has discovered a new mark that will bring terrifying consequences to every stone creature in Skye!

This book was a finalist for the 2018 Cybils Book Award in Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Parts of the plot reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, as the creatures searched for a mysterious man who would grant their greatest wishes. Mayka was a wonderfully adventurous and naive character, driven by her will to help other stone animals. She had an ability to read the stories etched on the animals she met, and the author allowed her to share their short tales throughout the book. An important message was that everyone has a story that defines them. On a deeper level, the creatures were seeking their independence without being controlled by others. Free will and individual choice were key issues. The main characters were kind and caring, and they were able to maintain these traits throughout the story. Amazingly, the author was able to resolve a destructive and violent climax in a relatively peaceful manner. Overall, I highly recommend you read this book. It's an inspiring, magical story!

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