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CROSSING STONES by Helen Frost Kirkus Star

CROSSING STONES

By Helen Frost

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-374-31653-2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This gorgeous collection of “cupped-hand” sonnets tells the story of two families whose lives are forever changed by World War I. Perhaps the most poignant poems, flowing like rushing water across the pages, are those from 18-year-old Muriel’s point of view. Outspoken Muriel questions the war and finds herself drawn more and more to her Aunt Vera’s suffragist cause. Other poems, shaped like river stones, are written from Muriel’s brother Ollie’s and her friend Emma’s perspectives. Ollie’s poems chronicle his brief experience in the war before an injury brings him home, and Emma’s point up the great loss her family has felt since her brother, Frank, was killed in the war. Both Emma’s and Ollie’s poems also reveal the tender feelings of first love blossoming between them. With care and precision, Frost deftly turns plainspoken conversations and the internal monologues of her characters into stunning poems that combine to present three unique and thoughtful perspectives on war, family, love and loss. Heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful, this is one to savor. (notes on form) (Historical fiction/poetry. 12 & up)