Stonewords: A Ghost Story

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9780060213169: Stonewords: A Ghost Story

Zoe's grandparents think that Zoe Louise is Zoe's imaginary friend. The truth, however, is that Zoe Louise lived in Zoe's house a century ago, and her ghost has returned to solve a terrible mystery. . . . ‘An eerie and gripping time fantasy. Conrad’s spare, vivid prose sustains the suspense, drawing readers inexorably toward a climax as satisfying as it is unexpected.’ —SLJ.

1990 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction Honor Book
1990 Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts (NCTE)
1991 Choices (Association of Booksellers for Children)
Children's Books of 1990 (Library of Congress)
1991 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
1991 Best Juvenile Mystery (Mystery Writers of America)

Parenting Honorable Mention, Reading–Magic Award
1995 California Young Reader Award

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About the Author:

Pam Conrad wrote many award-winning books for children, including the immensely popular The Tub People and The Tub Grandfather, both illustrated by Richard Egielski. She is also the author of a number of critically acclaimed novels, including Prairie Songs, a 1986 ALA Best Children's Book of the Year and a 1985 ALA Golden Kite Honor Book, and Stonewords, winner of the 1991 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Mystery.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-9-- In a cemetery on an island off the northern coast of America, Zoe's unstable mother weeps for the dead, while Zoe stares at a gravestone with a single legible inscription: her own name. This scene sets the mood for an eerie and gripping time fantasy by a talented writer. Zoe tells her story, beginning when she is five and comes to live with her devoted, nurturing grandparents. She immediately discovers that their 19th-century house is haunted by Zoe Louise, a beautiful child dressed in old-fashioned clothes, eagerly anticipating her eleventh birthday party. Zoe Louise becomes Zoe's beloved playmate, invisible to grownups. Stonewords shares many devices with Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden (Lippincott, 1984); comparison of the two books could stimulate a fascinating literary discussion. Conrad's Eden of backyard and playhouse becomes sinister when Zoe's mother appears and takes Zoe into the woods, where a bank of roses marks the border of an earlier garden. The roses were planted 100 years ago, Zoe's mother says, by a mother whose daughter Zoe died on her eleventh birthday and now lies buried in the cemetery. Then Zoe Louise turns spectral, decaying before her playmate's eyes, and the modern Zoe is impelled into the past, where she finds herself locked in a struggle with fate, her best friend's life at stake. Conrad's oblique evocation of horror is as intense as her portrayal of madness in Prairie Songs (Harper, 1985). The spare, vivid prose sustains the suspense, drawing readers inexorably toward a climax as satisfying as it is unexpected. --Margaret A. Chang, Buxton School, Williamstown, MA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Conrad, Pam
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