Words of stone ISBN: 9780099301851
Henkes, Kevin
Published by: 
  • Julia MacRae, 1994 
  • Red Fox, 1995 (ISBN: 9780099301851)

When strange messages begin appearing on the hillside behind Blaze's house, words spelled out in stones, Blaze becomes very worried. He worries a lot anyway - about dogs, fire, bad dreams. His mother died when he was five, and he still misses her enormously. It is his mum's name - Reena - which first appears on the hillside, and Blaze believes it is his dad's girlfriend who has perpetrated this cruelty. However, he finally comes to realise it was his new friend Joselle. This is another damaged child. Dumped on her gran by her feckless mum, Joselle is bright, vindictive and unhappy, and she sets out to make Blaze unhappy too. As the children become closer, she learns to regret her meanness when it is almost too late. This is a complex book, full of complex problems, but the emotions are real, and the threads come together satisfyingly. Interestingly, Blaze and his dad and gran go to a family therapist after Reena's death, but he is made to feel uncomfortable by this: 'She looks at me like I'm an ant on a stick'. Recommended.
Age: 10+