Thursday, January 28, 2010

The White Stone in the Castle Wall by Sheldon Oberman

Tundra books shared a copy of this book with me. It's been in publication since 1996. And well worth looking over!

The book was a finalist for the Ruth Schwartz Children's Literature Award, the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award.

Toronto's Casa Loma was the biggest castle in North America in 1914. And the wall surrounding it has only ONE white stone. How did it get there?

This a tale of how that may have happened, and it's a good story.

John Tommy Fiddich was going to have a garden and earn money from the sales of his goods, but the weather conspired against him, and all he found after the storm was a big ugly gray rock. Then he hears about this wall being constructed and how they were buying dull colored stones. That cheers him up, and he attempts to get his gray rock up the hill to the castle grounds so he can get some money.

Imagine his surprise when he find the rain has washed all the gray off his rock and it's white now - which means it's not wanted.

He sees the castle garden and goes to admire it and, because of his attitude, things turn out even better than he imagined.

It teaches children not to give up easily and that hard work can be its own reward. The illustrations reflect the time period well.

Check your local bookstore for a copy!

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