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Stonewords: A Ghost Story
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Stonewords: A Ghost Story (Stonewords #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  833 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
The first time Zoe met Zoe Louise, Zoe was four years old. Zoe Louise was more than 100. From that day on -- living in the same house, separated by a staircase and a century -- Zoe and Zoe Louise have been an important and permanent part of each other's lives.

Now Zoe is older. And although Zoe Louise never grows up, she is changing in dreadful, frightening ways. Time is ru
Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 2nd 1991 by HarperCollins (first published March 1st 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,871)
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Jubilation Lee
I read this book many years ago, and all I could remember is that there was a ghost, and that I ended up cowering under the blankets and waiting for it all to be over.

So I reread, because it couldn’t *possibly* be as epic and horrifying as I recalled.

I was more than halfway up the cliff of stairs, against a soundless wind, losing the light that had been so precious, suddenly aware that Zoe Louise was clinging to me, begging me, and when I turned to look at her, I was stunned to see she had wrapp
This book scared me to death in fourth grade, but it was still one of the books that I kept going back to. I reread it earlier this year when I subbed in my old classroom (hi, nostalgia!), and it's a solid read. Creepy, with a well-wrapped up ending, and great for kids 10 - 13 who like a little fear with their recreational reading.
Aug 02, 2011 Jeane rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-teen
First, let me tell you about the story have for this book. In the 6th grade I had the worst teacher ever! Mrs Wolff, I think she got real pleasure out of hating me. I think she even tried to get me out of her class and into another 6th grade class at one point which would have been fine by me, but I digress, so we were assigned to read four of five books out of ten books for various projects and such, and I had read four and was just beginning to read this one, when the deadline to read was up. ...more
Rebecca McNutt
This was one of the most intriguing and creative paranormal novels I've ever read. A book about friendship, time travel, loyalty and growing up, Stonewords presents readers with a mysterious and somber story about two best friends who try to keep their companionship afloat as one of them grows up and the other one is dead.
Mar 17, 2010 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another book that I read over and over when I was young. I think I got it from a book fair, and I loved it. The ghost story was creepy enough to give me goosebumps on the 23rd read-through, but not scary enough to give me nightmares.

The cover of the book I had (have, probably, at my momma's house) is of a girl with a skeleton hand, which, come on, tell me what child wouldn't want to read that book? Mmm, time-travel ghost story deliciousness.

I also vividly remember Zoe's relationship w
Annie Hartman
Feb 28, 2014 Annie Hartman rated it it was amazing
This was my all time favorite book when I was younger! I checked it out from the Highgate Elementary School library more times than I could count! Perhaps it's time for a re-read many years later :)
Apr 14, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I picked this up in my recent quest for middle grade horror (both for nostalgia and research purposes). :)

I think if I'd read this at age 10-11, I probably would have loved it to the point of obsession. It's tightly written and I very much liked the protagonist, a young girl left to live with her grandparents by her flighty (and possibly crazy) mother. As soon as she arrives, her haunting begins...

The plot is appropriately simple for the target audience, but there were still aspects of the myste
Mar 21, 2008 Martha rated it liked it
Good, well-written young-adult ghost story.
So I read this in the 5th or 6th grade, and remember it's pleasing red hardback cover (I never kept the dust jackets), it's enticing cream pages, deceptive slimness. It creeped me out, this child- ghost story. I remembered the scene where Zoe Louise stood in the middle of the dinner table, kicking the roast in front of oblivious adults. And the love/repulsion Zoe felt for Zoe Louise, which I also felt. I adored it so much I thought about naming my little girl Zoe Louise. Unfortunately I lent it ...more
Loved this when I was a kid.
Kathy Verdino
Apr 12, 2012 Kathy Verdino rated it it was amazing
My daughter read and re-read this book when she was about 11 years old. She kept telling me about the two "Zoe's" and how fantastic the story was so I decided to read it too. I was totally caught up in the story! The ghost story combined with time travel really appealed to me - but more than anything else, Pam Conrad (may she rest in peace) knows a child's heart - and ultimately, it is her themes of friendship and love, coupled with longing and loss that makes this book extraordinary.
Charlotte Hunter
Feb 05, 2014 Charlotte Hunter rated it really liked it
A good addition to an MG collection of ghost stories. It does not reach the levels of creepiness I would have liked, and purists may quibble with Conrad's time shifts, but overall a good read. The ghost that haunts Zoe remains sufficiently unpredictable that she (the ghost) doesn't fall into the trap of becoming a Caspar ghost; at times she is spiteful, controlling, or appears to Zoe in a decayed state. Add to this Conrad's excellent scene setting--in which all the senses are engaged, which is a ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Janie rated it really liked it
I absolutely LOVE YOU GoodReads, for putting this in my recommendations. I read this book as a kid but had almost completely forgotten about it until today. I'm giving it four stars based on my memory of reading it more than once. I couldn't get enough of ghost stories back then, and this was a good one from what I remember. I also have this book to thank for my ability to correctly pronounce the name Zoe. Hilarious blast from the past, love it.
Jun 22, 2015 Serena rated it really liked it
It's a thin book, but it's got a lot to offer.My worst fear when picking up this book was anything but the gore; that was probably the whole reason i wanted to read it. But what I was afraid of seeing in this book was something of a Goosebumps pattern; some annoying teenager sees hints of ghosts or something supposedly frightening, then either gets killed, or just in big trouble with whatever it is. But this one was different. The character grew up, and changed, and really bonded with the ghost. ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Myles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-stuff, horror-jr, dcf
I had never heard of this book until I came to Goodreads. It is exactly the kind of book I would have loved growing up. There's something about dark supernatural elements that goes hand in hand with a complicated home life.

Zoe is brought to live with her grandparents at a very young age, left behind by her mother. Despite their best efforts, Zoe's grandparents can't protect her from the loneliness she feels. Thankfully, she meets Zoe Louise, a girl her own age who lives in the same house. Only,
Nov 01, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love authors who can take ordinary situations and describe them so well. Not vividly, but well. There is little character development but I could see Zoe's Grandma and PopPop, content, normal people who have to raise their granddaughter because their daughter is crazy. You can see them resigned to this situation, perhaps weary from trying to reign in a wild-child, but happy to try again with 4 year old Zoe. They never bad-mouth Zoe's mother, only her grandmother's tone when her mother drops in ...more
This book is both a ghost story and a time travel story, and like many combining the two genres, it involves resolving issues that both the present and past child are facing. In this work they share the same name Zoe and Zoe Louise. The current Zoe lives with her grandparents because her mother has mental problems of some unexplained sort. She meets Zoe Louise when she moves in with her grandparents when she is four, and spends lots of time with her before she becomes aware of the mystery of Zoe ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Megan rated it really liked it
This was the first book I ever read multiple times. I was 9 years old, and read it at least 3 times before I was 10... unfortunately I haven't read it again since then (it belonged to my teacher, so I never saw it again after moving up from her class), so I've forgotten many of the details. I'll read it again soon just for the nostalgia, but I've definitely never forgotten how much I loved this book.
Jun 08, 2008 Marc rated it it was ok
This story is about a girl who met the ghost of a woman, Zoe Louise, who used to live in her house. When they first met, Zoe was about 4 years old and Zoe Louise was about 100 years old. They have been both living in the same house and they share a special bond. Though Zeo Louise is a ghost, her grandparents think that the Zoe Louise that Zoe refers to is an imaginary friend. And though, they've been good friends for years, Zoe Louise seemed to be changing. To save her friend, Zoe must go back i ...more
Jun 12, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood, fiction
I've always liked a good ghost story and I really enjoyed reading this book when I was about 10 or 11. Zoe is quite a lonely child and so the ghostly Zoe-Louise is her only friend, as well as her namesake. Zoe-Louise is a young girl who died 100 years before and Zoe's mother decided to name her daughter after this tragic child, who previously lived in the same house.

Zoe's mother is a largely absent figure and Zoe is much closer to her grandparents, who she lives with. As she explores the house w
Ruth Adams
Mar 19, 2014 Ruth Adams rated it it was amazing
In the sixth grade my English teacher started reading this book to us but never finished for years I could not remember the name of the book. Years later thanks to the web I was able to track it down and finally finish the book on my own and LOVED IT!!! Awesome read for a youth!!
Jul 02, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
I really liked this story about a girl who finds a ghost in her house. However, I understand why it was the 1991 Edgar Winner since there are some pretty creepy parts to it. Surprisingly, it was a little too gory for me. I think pre-teens and teenagers would enjoy it.
Nicole Andrews
Apr 16, 2016 Nicole Andrews rated it it was amazing
I've read this book over and over since I was a little girl and have always loved it. Not my typical style of book but for some reason the words in it would catch me and I'd keep reading the book every time I picked it up.
Brandy Shark
Dec 28, 2011 Brandy Shark rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids, young adults, people who like ghost stories
Shelves: kid-books
This is a book that I remember reading in the fifth grade, well only part of it. For years what I could remember stuck in my head; a ghost named Zoe Louise, a girl in the present named Zoe and Zoe Louise dancing around naked in the snow.

A co-worker of mine helped me find the book; she posted my description to a website and came back with the title. While the book is aimed for juveniles, I still picked it up again, and read it.

Even though written for children, it was still enjoyable, a little spo
Natalie Gibson
Apr 03, 2016 Natalie Gibson rated it it was amazing
Read this a long time ago and it freaked my shit out. I was thinking it might be good for my daughter but now I think we will wait a little longer. She read a bit and yelled, "Noooooo!!!"
May 21, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing
This was a great book! I read this during my daughter's nap today and it was time well spent! This is a interesting story and very well told. Written in 1990, this was a Nutmeg book (CT's highest honor for books) in 1994. It reminded me of a kids version of The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm not sure what age this would be good for - I'd say an 8th grader would like it, but it's shelved with other "kids books." I think this is more of a teen/ya book - some spooky topics/ghosts/death/adult description ...more
Phoenix Duke
May 24, 2014 Phoenix Duke rated it really liked it
This book scared the crap out of me when I was a kid, but it really stuck with me in a good way.
Keandra Fitzgerald
Jul 11, 2016 Keandra Fitzgerald rated it it was amazing
This was a good book! Read when I was young and one of my favorites!
Jul 11, 2009 Winniegoogoo rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites as a child....
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Pam Conrad (1947-1996) was an author for children. Her book Our House: Stories of Levittown was a Newbery Medal finalist.

Ms. Conrad was born in New York City and graduated from the New School for Social Research.
More about Pam Conrad...

Other Books in the Series

Stonewords (2 books)
  • Zoe Rising (Stonewords #2)

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