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Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  61 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
From the horrible orphanage at the center of the earth to his untamed red hair, Calvin Comet Cobble's life is out of his control. But when he meets Mr. E, who can skip a stone clear across Lake Arctic, everything about Cal's life changes. Told with wit and humor, this book is guaranteed to charm readers of all ages.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published August 8th 2011 by Cedar Fort, Incorporated/C F I Distribution (first published June 28th 2011)
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Aug 04, 2011 ѦѺ™ rated it it was amazing
Happiness will not pass you by when you're skipping. - Jessi Lane Adams

five year old Calvin Comet Cobble is transferred to Hidden Shores Orphanage. for the next seven years, Calvin's daily existence is routine - escaping the Principal's wrath, eating the worst cafeteria food, attending classes and being bullied. early one morning, his life starts to get interesting when he discovers the groundskeeper skipping stones across Lake Arctic.
before embarking on an amazing journey to the center of the
Aug 06, 2011 Inga rated it it was amazing
My review:

When I got the galley of the Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth by Andy Hueller, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know anything about the author and his previous books. The only known fact for me was that the book was written for middle grade juveniles. I can tell you already, that even though I am much older than the targeted group, I loved this book! This is what makes a good adventure book good – it’s not only kids you can enjoy the book, but also adults. I am absolute
Madeeha (D-ha)
Jan 19, 2012 Madeeha (D-ha) rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was amazing! Even though this book is targeted for the younger age group, I think that this book has different ingredients in it that would appeal to all readers. A must read!
Jul 27, 2011 Kris rated it it was amazing
Copied from original post at Imaginary Reads.

Cal is no hero. He regrets not taking action in the past, and he suffers form discrimination because of his hair color. He's learned not to talk back to adults because he's always dealt swift and horrible punishments. What he wants is not to attract attention. Then he meets Mr. E., and he learns to see another side of the world, one where one tween can make a difference. From there, the story quickly progresses, sweeping you into a story very similar
Jul 27, 2011 Beverly rated it liked it
My thoughts:
This is an interesting story set in a most unusual place! The center of the Earth! What a creative mind to have built such a setting. The author leaves the reader the opportunity to easily see and feel the similarities and differences between people (good and evil sides of them) and the world he has created for the orphans and prisoners in the center of the Earth.
The characters are brought to life by careful descriptions. Mr. E - of course - is my favorite character, besides Bernie a
May 16, 2011 Britta rated it liked it
This middle grade read was fun, adventurous, imaginative and overall, very entertaining. The younger audience is sure to love it.

Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth is the story of Calvin Comment Cobble, or Cal as his friend (singular) calls him. He has unruly red hair that always seems to get him into trouble. The only thing he knows about his parents is that his mother died shortly after giving birth to him. He doesn't know who his father is. That is how he finds himself at Hidden Shore
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
I honestly have to say I have not read a book like this ever. It was very unique and had a combination of different stories that are tied together. The most interesting thing about it is the situation of the main character, Cal. Cal lives in an Orphanage in the middle of the Earth. This orphanage is very poor. I was very saddened by their situation in which they eat almost inedible food, no clothing, no toys, no proper schooling. When the description of the food and clothes are mentioned I wante ...more
Sandra Stiles
Dec 21, 2011 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful story. The author has created a wonderful world for his characters. Imagine you are a twelve year old boy living on an island in a hole in the center of the earth and you have the basic setting for this story. I would love to spend an hour with the author to ask him questions about the creation of such a fantastic world. Calvin Comet Cobble is an orphan. HE came to live at Hidden Shores Orphanage when he was five. He’s twelve now and constantly finds himself in trouble. No matte ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
Review of an advance copy:
This was an interesting and enjoyable read, but it all ended too soon for me. I really want to know what happens next for all the people living in Robert. The book is an intriguing mix of tragedy and dark humor. I felt sad for quite a few of the characters but was also amused by many of the circumstances of the book. I was also impressed by the way the heroes of the story (and there were quite a few!) handled so many unfortunate situations. There are plenty of unique an
C.C. Thomas
Jul 28, 2011 C.C. Thomas rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
How many of us remember those days when we were smaller and reveled in the moments when we first learned to skip a rock? For me, it was my grandmother and I still remember every quiet, reverent moment. I hope that all of you had a moment like that in your childhood-one so special that it remains with you years later. I hope that all of you had a person like that in your childhood-one who saw past the outside ugliness and awkwardness to the potential inside.

Calvin Cobble is one such boy who has b
Dorine White
Aug 07, 2011 Dorine White rated it really liked it
A wonderful middle grade read, Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth, by Andy Hueller, is 249 pages long and published by Cedar Fort Publishing.
The Story- Calvin Cobble is an orphan, living in all places, in a hole inside the planet. In the hole rests an island, named Robert. There are only two things on the island, an orphanage and a maximum security prison.
Calvin, with untameable red hair, has been there for seven years. His best friend is half his age, a spunky girl named Berneatha.
A d
Julie Witt
Aug 21, 2011 Julie Witt rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Poor Calvin Comet Cobble is a 12 year old redheaded boy who lives at an orphanage in the middle of the earth, on an island called Robert, with a population of 521, otherwise known as "the forgotten 521". Half of the island is taken up by the orphanage, full of forgotten children, and half by a prison where the worst of the worst are sent. Cal is bullied by the other children and the teachers alike, and spends his time just trying not to
Book Twirps
Jul 25, 2011 Book Twirps rated it really liked it
Trouble seems to follow Calvin Comment Cobble (Cal), everywhere he goes. He blames it on his unruly red hair. His mother died while giving birth to him and his father is missing, which is why he now lives at Hidden Shores Orphanage, on an island that is literally at the center of the earth. Island Robert, where the orphanage is located, is half bathed in light and half in total darkness. The orphanage is on the light side of the island, and on the dark side is a prison that houses the most dange ...more
Coreena McBurnie
Jul 31, 2011 Coreena McBurnie rated it really liked it
When he is five, Calvin is sent to live in an orphanage in a place called Robert at the center of the earth. One half of Robert, where the orphanage is, is light, and the other half, where there is a prison for the most dangerous criminals, is dark. Anyone who goes into the dark side never returns.

In the story, Calvin is twelve and is struggling at the orphanage, his mother is dead and he has never known his father, his unruly red hair keeps getting him in trouble, there are conflicts with the t
Jul 26, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing

I knew going into this book that it would be for children and early teens but was pleasantly surprised by the quality and content for the older crowd. It was a quick read and enjoyed it immensely. I could relate to Cal and his feelings about being different and being bullied. I was once a Cal in school. Socially awkward and a wallflower but as I grew older I became more confident with myself and ending up becoming that social butterfly.

His boring life ends one day wh
Apr 18, 2011 Cleffairy rated it liked it
Reviewed at: Over A Cuppa Tea

Date reviewed: 18April 2011

Review link:

Initially, I thought that I would not like this book, but boy was I wrong. Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth by Andy Hueller is one tale you wouldn’t want to miss if you’re the kind of people who wouldn’t mind reliving your teenage emotions and fantasy.

Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth by Andy Hueller is a very absorbing and gripping tale, and if you’re a fantasy lovers, you might w
Aug 14, 2015 Clarissa rated it liked it
I found the beginning uninspiring, the middle absolutely fascinating, and the ending to be a big let-down. After reading, I felt the ending ruined the middle for me. Still, this author shows fun flair in their writing style. The direction,depth, and purpose of the plot was just weak, in my opinion.
Steven R. McEvoy
Apr 30, 2012 Steven R. McEvoy rated it it was amazing
This book was surprisingly entertaining. The title grabbed my attention, but once I read the beginning, I was grabbed. The story focuses around Calvin Comet Cobble who lives at the Hidden Shores Orphanage, which is located on the shores of Lake Arctic below the earth's crust. A giant screw was found in the Arctic, and as they unscrewed it, they discovered a giant cavern, part of which gets light and part that is always dark. They build a super max prison on the dark side and an orphanage in the ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Corinna rated it liked it
Short chapters and quirky characters make this a fun book to read aloud. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the premise of the book, and the physical set-up of...well, the Earth. And there are some...physics problems that just make me scratch my head and say..."But I don't think that would WORK." Aside from those little things...there is a lot to really enjoy about this book. Oppressive orphanage, exotic and remote locations...well, remote anyway. Flashbacks and flash-forwards. A charmin ...more
Elizabeth B
May 03, 2011 Elizabeth B rated it really liked it
This was a very entertaining story. The first moves a bit slow and seems to jump around but there is a reason behind that so just relax and hang in for the ride. The language seemed for a more mature audience (word choice not dirty words :D) and some younger readers may struggle with the long passages. But this fills a much needed gap in adventure/fantasy stories for the middle grade advanced readers. Characters are well drawn and enjoyable to read about as the story progresses. Might do well as ...more
Kay Curtiss
Jul 30, 2011 Kay Curtiss rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle Age Readers
Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth is filled with imagination. Middle age readers will enjoy the antics of Cal Cobble, (the 12 year old boy with bright red hair he can't control so it always looks like his head is on fire), and his side-kick, Bernie, (a 7 year old girl, who is Cal's best friend, and rarely wears shoes - just bright green socks on her overly large feet). Join Cal & Bernie as they go up and down the fire poles, eat cheetah-cakes for breakfast and go on the adventure of ...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
This was a very interesting story full of imagination. The author is very creative.

The story takes place in an imaginary city at the center of the Earth. The story jumps back and forth from the present to twelve years earlier and the events that lead to the discovery of the center of the Earth.

Cal lives in an orphanage. He is tormented about his red and unruly hair. He has few friends and references he doesn't understand are made about his father. He has never met and knows nothing about his fat
Rebecca McKinnon
Aug 16, 2011 Rebecca McKinnon rated it really liked it
I liked the idea of this middle-grade book. The Earth is hollow, and people live inside it. Fun, right?

The first half of the book was hard for me to get through, though. However, once I made it that far, things picked up and I really enjoyed the last half of the book. The ending was great. Mr Hueller doesn't force all the ends into tidy knots, which I really liked. Don't get me wrong, you aren't left hanging or anything, but without everything being perfectly slotted it leaves more of the future
Feb 04, 2014 Kitty rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-lit
So disjointed and quite boring.
Shannon O'Donnell
Aug 17, 2011 Shannon O'Donnell rated it really liked it
Skipping Stones is the most lyrically written MG story I've read since Kathi Appelt's THE UNDERNEATH--almost musical at times. The story is totally original, the characters and setting are strange and unique, and the ending was not what I expected. When reading this story, there were times I wasn't sure what I was feeling; it almost needs to settle a while, like Thanksgiving dinner. By the end, I was a fan. Andy Hueller won me over with his unique style and storytelling ability!
Adam Thomas
Apr 18, 2011 Adam Thomas rated it really liked it
I am usually a person who likes to read non-fiction but I thought this book was a great read. It is a book I think elementary and junior high kids would love to read.

It is the story of Calvin Cobble and how he ended up in an orphanage in at the center of the earth. The book takes you into three different story lines and you'll have to find out for yourself how there all connected.

It is an adventure that Andy Hueller did a great job of creating and is a great read.
Kate Vogl
Aug 07, 2011 Kate Vogl rated it it was amazing
Charming story, memorable characters - with a voice like Louis Sacher and with an imagination all his own, Hueller vividly brings to life this tale set at the earth's core. This is a fun middle grade read.
Aug 30, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
It was realy good, I was never bored while reading the book.
Jennie Barney
Jan 03, 2014 Jennie Barney rated it liked it
This was a pretty easy quick read.
John C
John C rated it really liked it
May 19, 2016
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Writer Info

Who: Andy Hueller is the author of Dizzy Fantastic and Her Flying Bicycle (Cedar Fort, 2010), as well as the upcoming Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth (Cedar Fort, TBD). He writes every day--sometimes the work is a thrilling adventure, and other times it's a slog. He always feels better, however, after he's given it a go. Mr. Hueller teaches at St. Paul Academy and Summit Sch
More about Andy Hueller...

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