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Words of Stone

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Blaze Werla is having a typical summer. He lives in the country with his father and grandmother. He spends his days alone, wandering around the hill beside his home.

Then the message appears on the side of the hill. And Blaze's summer suddenly takes a turn toward the mysterious. By the time Blaze meets Joselle Stark, the unexpected seems almost normal.
Published September 16th 1992 by Greenwillow Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 533)
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Linda Lipko
Ten year old shy, red-haired Blaze Werla is hurting. Losing his mother to cancer has a profound impact on him. Added to the trama is the fact that he was badly burned and scared from a freak carnival accident.

Each year he returns to the ferris wheel hoping he can have the courage to overcome his fears, and each year he fails.

He has a strong support base of a loving father and grandmother, but still his imaginary friends are the ones to whom he turns.

When Joselle Stark arrives in the neighborhood
Although this book did not grab me from the beginning, it definitely had some quirky and unforgettable characters! Henkes does use unusual names that represent his characters. His main character, Blaze, reminds me of Wemberly in his picture books – characters who worry or are scared about things. I quite liked how the story turned out and was very touched that two seemingly different characters could become such great friends. For use in the classroom, I can imagine discussions about family rela ...more
Rosario Villamor
Words of Stone by Kevin Henkes is one of those "feel-good" books, those that you can read without feeling depressed or anything. Blaze Werla is quite an amusing kid what with his Noah's ark collection with only one of each animal where there should be two, his lost key collection. His lost key collection. I found it pretty adventurous when he said the reason for his lost key collection was so someday, he'd be able to find those doors or boxes which open to those keys. I guess, in essence, we all ...more
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This one is hard to review because it is hard to condense into a sound bite but this is where its strength lies. It has a subtlety and sincerity that sets it apart from many books (and particularly from many kids' books that always have to be ABOUT SOMETHING and the author needs to hit you over the head with the MESSAGE!!!) Know what I mean?
Sarah Beck
I thought this book was interesting. I am starting to dislike that most of Kevin Henkes characters have strong male figures and females that are less than desirable in this and Margaret and Taylor that was the case. i enjoyed it but it was not my favorite Henkes book by far.
This is a cute sweet kids book about friendship and loss. It reminded me of the summers of childhood when all there is is time and friendships are quick-forming and volatile.
Not as good as some of Henkes' others (i.e Olive's Ocean, Protecting Marie, Bird Lake Moon. . . )
Kevin Henkes is a remarkable novelist. His descriptions of everyday life and the ostensibly mundane events that go on around us all the time elevate those little moments to become miniaturized works of art in the eye of the thoughtful reader. His feel for the nuances of the English language is extraordinary, but I think that what is even more key to his captivating descriptive prose than that is his unfailing attention to detail. He doesn't miss the importance of the little things about life th ...more
Scooping it Up
Disturbing, sad, but endearing. I think many young readers may find both main characters "too weird;" the kind of children they would tease or ostracize at school, and being exposed to their awkwardness in such an intimate way is both uncomfortable and important. Everyone has junk and a story, especially when it involves kids who act differently. Reminding children that they are all fighting battles at home, and that some of those battles are painful and huge and terrible gives great perspective ...more
Borderline disturbing, like most of Henkes' middle-grade books we've read so far. We can't read this book and then say "goodnight!" - a lot of discussion has to happen first, which is a good thing, I think. Many of Henkes' characters have dead or neglectful mothers, which is a little horrifying for Marie. She begged for more chapters, but was upset with the ending, which trailed off with a promise rather than ending in a concrete fashion.
Blaze Werla is having a routine summer. He spends his days alone, wandering around the hill next door, and his nights awake, avoiding the dreams that haunt him. Then a message appears on the side of the hill and Blaze's predictable summer suddenly takes a turn toward the mysterious. By the time he meets outgoing Joselle Stark, Blaze finds himself in entirely new territory
Good middle grade fiction- bullies, tough family relationships, and characters who compelled me to try to understand them make this a good stretch read. Not many students select this title on their own. Possible matchings with Liar &Spy, The Bystander, The Schwa Was Here, and Because of Mr. Terupt.
I sometimes decide a book rating more because of the writing that the actual story. Such is the case here--'Words of Stone' is well written but I just didn't connect with the characters or care about the plot.
Words of Stone
Henkes, Kevin

His mother had died, he was burned when he tried to relive his last memory with her, and now he has secret messages written to him on the hill. He had tried to adapt, he made a new imaginary friend each year, and each year when he was unable to accomplish his goal he lost his friend. This year was not any different until the stones on the hill spelled his mother’s name. She was alone and lonely. She has always felt unloved by her mother, and a little bit of a trouble m
Kevin Henkes' books for younger readers (like Chrysanthemum, Lily and the Purple Plastic Purse) are favorites of ours, so I thought we'd try this novel. I have very mixed feelings about it. It has memorable, poetic imagery and strongly drawn characters. Joselle is so unlikable though that it is hard to empathize with her. I found the writing itself uneven, the vocabulary (and sometimes ideas) too sophisticated for the middle-school audience it's aimed at. And yet the ending was lovely. Maybe Hen ...more
Rich with symbolism and deeply felt, this would make a great book for use in the classroom.
Story Revolution

Blaze Werla is having a routine summer. He spends his days alone, wandering around the hill next door, and his nights awake, avoiding the dreams that haunt him. Then a message appears on the side of the hill and Blaze's predictable summer suddenly takes a turn toward the mysterious. By the time he meets outgoing Joselle Stark, Blaze finds himself in entirely new territory, where the unexpected seems almost normal.

Working in an elementary school library has its perks--reading this was one of them--I was familiar with Henkes picture books but had no idea that he wrote novels--the character development and plot line are wonderful--no let's just end the story here.
This is sort of a weird book - but an ok one. All about a young boy whose moter is dead, and a young girl whose mother is ignoring her and lives with her grandmother, it's a fine book, but I really don't like the way the plot evolves and finishes.
Not as well developed as Olive's Ocean, but a nice read, nonetheless. Henkes is such a talented writer, I should offer him four stars just because. "Words" comes close to being a great book, but not quite. A quick read though, so don't miss it.
Nov 14, 2008 Relyn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tweens and Henkes fans
Recommended to Relyn by: I'm reading all of Henkes' books
If you couldn't tell, I'm on a Kevin Henkes kick. I'm reading all of his books. This one did not disappoint. It was lovely, in fact. I love the way he portrays real friendships. His characters are just alive. Henkes is a wonder.
Although it's for ages 8-12, it went beyond my expectations. I thought it was going to be boring but it was actually intriguing! I understand a bit of it's deeper meaning and I'm hoping that I would understand the full meaning soon.
This book is billed for children 8-12 years old, but I couldn't see my 8 year old reading it. There are rave reviews all over the book, but maybe I missed something because it didn't do anything for me.
It was a great story with a devastating and very disappointing ending. I think stories like this should have a happy ending and this one just didn't.
Good book for children that are struggling with issues at home such as neglective parents, or a death in the family.
May 24, 2013 Damere rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maria
Recommended to Damere by: A friend named Rebecca
Shelves: favorites
I thought the book was awesome! The part where Joselle spread her blood on Blaze's leg eas funny to me.
Lonely boy whose mother died meets Joselle - a troubled 11/12 year old and they come friends. Very sweet.
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Kevin Henkes became an author/illustrator when he was nineteen years old, working on a card table in his bedroom.
Today he's the author of many award-winning picture books and novels.
More about Kevin Henkes...
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