Many Stones
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Many Stones

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  440 ratings  ·  62 reviews
After her sister Laura is murdered in South Africa, Berry and her estranged father travel there to participate in the dedication of a memorial in her name.
Hardcover, 158 pages
Published by Front Street (first published June 1st 2001)
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I really enjoyed this realistic fiction novel that centered around the strained relationship between a teenage girl and her father.

The main character, Berry, is the younger sibling by quite a few years. When she was in middle school, Laura, her older sister, was in college. Their father had always been obvious about favoring Laura over Berry, even after he divorced their mother he kept in closer touch with Laura because they shared a common interest in world politics. Berry always looked up to L...more
Jody Casella
I can't think of a more perfectly put together book. Short and powerful--simple and complex at the same time. The main character Berry is still reeling from her older sister Laura's death in South Africa. Laura was volunteering at a school and was murdered, right around the time that the Apartheid system was falling apart.

Berry's father, a take charge/no nonsense kind of guy, decides that the proper way to deal with their grief over Laura is to go to South Africa and donate money to the school...more
Jan 09, 2008 Nian rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you want to read about Africa
Shelves: 2008
Although I enjoyed the storyline of a girl coming to terms with her sister’s death and her relationship with her parents (particularly her father), the book wasn’t one of my taste. For starters, the language was too easy. It made me feel like a 6th, 7th grader again. I don’t think I’m that picky—I mean, a more average voice with a bit of sophisticated words will do for me, really.

Something that stood out to me was the topic. I’m thinking that’s the reason why the book got the 2000 National Book...more
Many Stones was a book that I never thought I would immediately pick up in a bookstore and read, but that I honestly enjoyed. This story was set around the life of a girl nicknamed Berry whose sister Laura has recently passed away. Laura happened to die in South Africa, so Berry and her father take a trip their to visit the poor town of Soweto, experience African life first hand and go to Laura's memorial service their. Berry and her father do not have a very strong or close relationship since h...more
Oct 18, 2008 Rachael rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Older teens, adults
I had never heard of this book, although it's won several awards, and actually found it on the "NEW" books shelf, although it was written 8 years ago. It's a brisk and compelling read, and deals with some complicated issues (such as grief, divorce, apartheid, forgiveness) in a thoughtful way. I really thought, though, that the ending, while it leaves Berry having a breakthrough, didn't feel complete to me.

Having just been to South Africa for the first time this year, some of Berry's experiences...more
I thought that this book was trying to deal with a heavy issue and make it something that you could relate, it just didn't quite do it. It messed up and made things seem crude or lame several times during the story. There would be times where the writing was so poignant, and then in the next paragraph the author would ruin the moment by putting in things I didn't think were appropriate for the story or the plot. I really can't see why this got the Printz Honor. I know that my rating seems a litt...more
I believe this book was written for teens, yet the language and the attitude it carries about sex may trouble parents. I wanted to like this book, yet I found the main character unlikeable, but she is not unlikeable enough to make her interesting. Most of the characters are underdeveloped and unlikeable.

I enjoyed the part where they visit the prison that held Nelson Mandela for twenty five years. The tour guide was one of the most interesting characters in the book. There were passages in the b...more
Jamie Prax
Summary: Berry finds herself in a tough situation after her sister's death. While struggling with his own wounds, her father brings her on a journey where they will both find out something about themselves in the end.

Appropriate for: Middle School Age. It was very easy to read, even possibly late elementary.

Teach it or circulate it?: This is a book that I might use in the classroom for the whole class. It seems easy enough for all reading levels to understand and I think that most students would...more
Have you ever a read a book with so little substance to it that you forget the plot the moment you turned the last page? That was what happened to me with "Many Stones" because while I can maybe give you a few key points about the book (The main character's name is Berry, she has a bad relationship with her father, her sister died and a tourist view of Africa was involved.) I couldn't tell you what the book was actually about.

This may be because I don't think Carolyn Coman knows what her book w...more
Oct 04, 2007 Timothy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the disaffected and or parents of teens
A concise novel with teeth. Personally, I prefer fiction that uses simple and direct language to talk about complex ideas. When done well, as in Many Stones, it creates space for the reader to imagine tangents and relationships far beyond the words on the page. Perhaps that seems too 'gestalty' but so be it. I'd rather an author give the reader a great deal of credit than none at all.
First person, father/daughter conflict, South Africa. The conflict between the two main characters is so authentic and with the struggles of South Africa as the backdrop the book is hugely impactful. The author is amazing at capturing the internal feelings, thoughts, and frustrations of being a teen. Amazing.
Absolutely nothing happens in this book. It's the story of a girl trying to cope with the death of her sister. I see what the author was trying to do, but I felt like it just came off as emo and forced instead of profound and touching. I only kept on reading because I had nothing else to read.
I really loved this short, intense book for its authentic and honest portrayal of the grieving process, father-daughter relations, and South African history. This story screams: tell what is! tell the truth!
Berry's sister is murdered, her parents are divorced, and she goes on a trip with her dad to Africa. Some good quotes and thoughts, but I hated the main character for most of the novel.
Quiet but informative book about South Africa. Almost like a novelized travel guide, except that the main character is also dealing with a tragedy.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Madeline Ellis
Berry appears to be what your average teen is like; she likes a boy, she has divorced parents, and she is a great swimmer and member of her high school swim team. On the inside though, Berry is in pain. Her sister was murdered while helping others in South Africa while they faced many violent horrors. Her sister became a part of that horror, and while everything seems okay on the surface, Berry hasn't quite coped with the situation. On top of that, her relationship with her father is non-existen...more
Scott To
"Many_stones" is a award winning book that really relates to the title itself. So far this book is about a girl that lost her sister from a car accident. Herself and her dad go on a trip to South Africa where they seem to be rich. Their suite is the most descriptive suite I have ever heard. I felt like I was in the suite myself.

"Berry", the girl, knew that her father and her sister got along really well. They loved to talk about politics. Her sister, "Laura" was a really good swimmer. The book...more
What I think about many stones is that it a good book and it has a important message about life and how to appreciate life well what this book was about is about how this guy the main character has a girlfriend and she has swimming lessons every week and she gets frustrated because she has to deal with so many things and some of those things for example are school swimming lessons and most important for her is her boyfriend. The main characters name is josh and josh also has problems too and he...more
In this book Many Stones I found it quite unigue because Berry, who is Laura's younger sister faced a dramatic change when Laura died in Africa. Berry doesn't have much sense of understnading about the society around her. To her she just conveys that everything she relies on is her boyfriend. It's like she lost her whole world when her sister died. She finds it hard to go through especially when her father also divorce causing confusion in Berry's life.
Berry enjoy swimming with Laura, she does...more
Dayna Smith
A strange and somewhat depressing character study of a young girl and her relationship with her estranged father. Berry's sister Laura was murdered in South Africa and she and her father are flying there over a year later to dedicate a memorial in her honor. Will they be able to share their grief and rekindle their own relationship? Will Berry be able to sort out her own tangled feelings about Laura's death and the long silence between she and her father? The shared interests Laura had with thei...more
On a two-week pilgrimage to South Africa from Rockville, Maryland, 16-year-old Berry and her estranged father attempt to come to terms with the murder, a year earlier, of Berry's sister Laura when she was volunteering at a Capetown school. Angry, sour, and ferociously cynical, Berry struggles with the concept of "truth and reconciliation," both for South Africa and in her personal life. Her father's efforts to educate his daughter about the country's political climate in the wake of apartheid ar...more
It has been three years since I first saw this novel stacked along other books in one of the bookshelves of my middle school, yet I did not read it until less than one month ago.

This book appealed to me as a Bildungsroman text because it reminded me of "Catcher in the Rye." Both novels featured adolescent protagonists struggling to set themselves free of their past--the remnants of their childhood. Confrontation with the adult world was cruel, yet both of these characters were able to relinquis...more
This book is mostly about how Berry, the main character, spends her time with her father for his business to go to different countries and to make a ceremony for Berry’s sister, Laura. The book doesn’t tell you why they killed her but the author tells how Laura’s head was smashed by a rock. Berry thinks that her father act like she was Laura. Berry and her father don’t get along very well. She puts stones on top of her chest. I like how the author tells about Berry thoughts and feelings about ev...more
Madeline  Ezell

The accuracy of the relationship, between Berry and her father, is actually breathtaking. The way Coman is able to get down to the tiny details, right to the last thought... I don't even have words for how true the story and the thoughts and the words are. Mmm. I think I dog-eared every page- there was that much goodness that I wanted to remember.

The way the book ended was perfect. There was no new sureness of hope, or of a coming destruction.... it just, well, it just was. Like real life...more
The book so far is really good because the book is about a girl that's on the swim team and she just found out that someone had murdered her coach and she is really depressed and she wants to quit the team
also what i notice about myself as a reader is that I'm reading more than i used to read and I'm reading more books.

When i had finished the book i thought that the book was really good and i would like to read it again some time. the book was about a girl named berry who was on the swim team fo...more
Yi Wang
This book is kind of like The Lovely Bones, but from a different point of view. In The Lovely Bones, the main character is Susie, but in this book the main character is Berry, whose sister Laura was murdered. Berry has accepted her sister’s death, but it weighs heavily on her. Added to Berry’s woes are the fact that her parents are divorced, and her relationship with her father is becoming more difficult. Berry hates her father and doesn’t want to spend time with him. But her father is trying to...more
Michael Head
Berry (female) is the disillusioned daughter of recently-divorced parents. Her older sister was murdered in South Africa, she has a stoner boyfriend, and she has a dichotomous life...she has stones all around her room to "weigh her down" yet she says that "floating is the best feeling in the world." The bulk of the novel centers around a trip to South Africa with her father to participate in a memorial ceremony for her slain sister.
The language of the book is fairly simple (6th grade), but the...more
A beautifully-written novel dealing with loss, family relationships, global politics. Berry Morgan’s sister, Laura, had been murdered in South Africa. A year and a half later, Berry’s father arranges a trip to the school Laura had been working at. The trip is as much a confrontation of the aftermath of Laura’s murder and their shared loss as it is a confrontation of the aftermath of Berry’s relationship with her father following her parents’ divorce. A great deal of backstory and flashbacks are...more
Henry Yan
Many Stones is a story that takes place during the post-apartheid period. Berry Morgan who is sixteen years old has to deal with the loss of her older sister Laura and a father that she hates because he abandoned her family for another woman. In her early stages, she is filled with a lot of hate and anger because of what her father did and because the loss of her sister. However, she soon discovers what the South Africans go through and how life was in South Africa--Which causes her to slowly co...more
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