Crossing Stones
by Frost, Helen
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School Library Journal Gr 6-10-The children of the Norman and Jorgensen families have grown up together, with their family farms located on either side of Crabapple Creek. In 1917, the outbreak of World War I shatters their idyllic lives: strong-willed Muriel opposes it, but the two young men, Frank and her brother, Ollie, enlist and are soon sent overseas. Muriel's lively personality comes alive in free-verse poems that roam across the page like the free-flowing waters of the creek. "My mind sets off at a gallop/down that twisty road, flashes by 'Young Lady,'/hears the accusation in it-as if it's/a crime just being young, and 'lady'/is what anyone can see I'll never be/.." The poems of Ollie and friend Emma are written in "cupped-hand" sonnets; their rounded shapes resemble the crossing stones of the creek and record their growing love. While the young men find themselves amidst the horrors of trench warfare, their families attempt to cope with their absence. Muriel travels to Washington, DC, to be with her aunt Vera, a suffragist who is recovering from a hunger strike; joins picketers at the White House; and helps out in a settlement house. Back home, youngest sister Grace comes down with influenza. Frost's warmly sentimental novel covers a lot of political, social, and geographical ground, and some of the supporting characters are not fully fleshed out. But this is Muriel's story, and her determined personality and independence will resonate with readers, especially those who've enjoyed the works of Karen Hesse.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Two pairs of siblings, Muriel and Ollie Jorgensen and Emma and Frank Norman, have grown up together on adjacent Michigan farms. Hints of romance stir among the group just as World War I breaks out, but independent Muriel refuses Frank's kiss before he leaves for the front. Ollie follows Frank to war, and in letters blackened with censors' ink, he details the battlefield horrors and his sorrow at the news that Frank has been killed. At home, Muriel finds inspiration in her suffragist aunt's protests in Washington D.C., while the more traditional Emma observes, Making sure everyone is fed / and clothed and cared for that also takes a kind of pluck. Frost, whose titles include the Printz Honor Book Keesha's House (2003), once again offers a layered, moving verse novel. Each selection, alternately narrated by Muriel, Ollie, and Emma, is shaped to reflect the characters' personalities and relationships: Muriel's free-flowing entries indicate her restless curiosity; Emma and Ollie's sonnets follow complementary rhyming patterns, adding a structural link between the characters as they fall in love. The historical details (further discussed in an author's note) and feminist messages are purposeful, but Frost skillfully pulls her characters back from stereotype with their poignant, private, individual voices and nuanced questions, which will hit home with contemporary teens, about how to recover from loss and build a joyful, rewarding future in an unsettled world.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 6-10-The children of the Norman and Jorgensen families have grown up together, with their family farms located on either side of Crabapple Creek. In 1917, the outbreak of World War I shatters their idyllic lives: strong-willed Muriel opposes it, but the two young men, Frank and her brother, Ollie, enlist and are soon sent overseas. Muriel's lively personality comes alive in free-verse poems that roam across the page like the free-flowing waters of the creek. "My mind sets off at a gallop/down that twisty road, flashes by 'Young Lady,'/hears the accusation in it-as if it's/a crime just being young, and 'lady'/is what anyone can see I'll never be/.." The poems of Ollie and friend Emma are written in "cupped-hand" sonnets; their rounded shapes resemble the crossing stones of the creek and record their growing love. While the young men find themselves amidst the horrors of trench warfare, their families attempt to cope with their absence. Muriel travels to Washington, DC, to be with her aunt Vera, a suffragist who is recovering from a hunger strike; joins picketers at the White House; and helps out in a settlement house. Back home, youngest sister Grace comes down with influenza. Frost's warmly sentimental novel covers a lot of political, social, and geographical ground, and some of the supporting characters are not fully fleshed out. But this is Muriel's story, and her determined personality and independence will resonate with readers, especially those who've enjoyed the works of Karen Hesse.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Two pairs of siblings, Muriel and Ollie Jorgensen and Emma and Frank Norman, have grown up together on adjacent Michigan farms. Hints of romance stir among the group just as World War I breaks out, but independent Muriel refuses Frank's kiss before he leaves for the front. Ollie follows Frank to war, and in letters blackened with censors' ink, he details the battlefield horrors and his sorrow at the news that Frank has been killed. At home, Muriel finds inspiration in her suffragist aunt's protests in Washington D.C., while the more traditional Emma observes, Making sure everyone is fed / and clothed and cared for that also takes a kind of pluck. Frost, whose titles include the Printz Honor Book Keesha's House (2003), once again offers a layered, moving verse novel. Each selection, alternately narrated by Muriel, Ollie, and Emma, is shaped to reflect the characters' personalities and relationships: Muriel's free-flowing entries indicate her restless curiosity; Emma and Ollie's sonnets follow complementary rhyming patterns, adding a structural link between the characters as they fall in love. The historical details (further discussed in an author's note) and feminist messages are purposeful, but Frost skillfully pulls her characters back from stereotype with their poignant, private, individual voices and nuanced questions, which will hit home with contemporary teens, about how to recover from loss and build a joyful, rewarding future in an unsettled world.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.