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Many Stones

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  740 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Berry Morgan's older sister left home to become a school volunteer in Capetown, South Africa, and in a nightmare ripped from the headlines was brutally murdered. A year and a half later, Berry's father arranges a trip to South Africa for a memorial service--a trip that will transform them both.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 10th 2002 by Puffin (first published October 27th 2000)
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3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  740 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Rebecca McNutt
Many Stones is an unexpectedly daring and unique book, but I found that it was just missing something, almost as if it had the potential to be longer and deeper but missed out on it.
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jody Casella
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Hailey Wheaton
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Personal Response:
I thought that this book was pretty good. I would not say that it was my favorite book because it got boring at times, but it was alright. I also really did not enjoy the ending because I feel like it just did not wrap up the end of it.

Plot Summary:
The main character Berry is grown up into a split family. Her sister, Laura travels off to Africa to travel and discover new things around the world, while her parents are divorced. Berry is a very quiet girl, who is really to hers
Megan McGlin
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Personal; response: I thought that the book Many Stones was very interesting. It dealt with pain of loss of a family member. Berry was going through a rough time in her life, she loses her sister. This book can relate to anyone that may be going through the same thing.

Plot: Berry Morgan has dealt with the loss of her sister Laura. Laura was stoned to death by criminals and Berry and her family have no clue who killed her and why they killed her. Laura went to South Africa and helped their cities
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I did not really like this book because really boring in the start of the book, so I got bored.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 26, 2008 rated it liked it
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 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older teens, adults
Shelves: y-a
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
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
Oct 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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!
May 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quiet but informative book about South Africa. Almost like a novelized travel guide, except that the main character is also dealing with a tragedy.
Lynda Schmidt
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Picked this book when I noticed both the author, someone who I had taken class from so many years ago during summer writing at UNH, swimming theme, and the student recommended it. I recall Corman typically pushing the edge of content and this was true of this in terms of the intensity of topic. I enjoyed it because it was honest about a child's struggle with communication with her father and her father just wanting to have SOME conversation. The swimming was a mechanism of dealing with intense g ...more
Carter Briggs
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-13-25
Like most of the other reviews, I would have to agree that this book didn't quite do it for me.
It has a interesting enough storyline- Berry doesn't hang out with her dad until they find out her sister was killed in Africa. They decide to go to Africa to pay tribute to her. However, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of development. The characters (particularly Berry) seem very flat and static. Because the characters don't have a lot of credibility, the whole story is compromised. It almost fe
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Character-driven, and very well-written. We are in Berry's head for this whole book, and it is easy to feel the weight of her grief, of her depression, of her anger in her grief, but also for her dad's flaws, for the murder, for the unfairness of it all. I really appreciated the genuine relationship between Berry and her dad. This was not an easy book to read, though, and knowing what has been happening in South Africa in the 18 years since this book was written casts a different light on that a ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
2.5 stars. I just finished a 700 page book and picked this one in part due to its small size. Surprisingly, I found the first half read slowly. It picked up once they were in South Africa for awhile and that was the part of the book I preferred, but overall I still feel like it was an incomplete novel. It feels like I’ve just read part of a book, and I’m not sure if the author was so set on keeping it short she opted not to expand to a more complete storyline, but it seems unfinished, starting a ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-13-25-reviews
Berry is a girl that has experienced so much pain and loss that she doesn't know how to keep going about doing everything she used to. Her sister was murdered and her father comes and goes as he pleases in and out of her life. She's got all these stones weighing her down.

I was interested enough in this book to keep reading, but I think it lacked a certain depth or significance. It was good to see her relationship with her father grow and heal, but I feel like there could have been more to it. I
Heather Munao
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This should have been good and it wasn't. There is no way to work in the grief of a murdered sister, the bitterness of a child of divorce, and getting in touch with your own pain through learning about the pain of Apartheid in a trip to South Africa, plus wrestling with the significance of minor characters, all in 158 pages. The symbolism was overly obvious. There was nothing beautiful in the prose.

Janine Darragh
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I'm not quite sure why this won so many awards... The setting, largely in South Africa, was interesting, and perhaps that was why? The strained relationship between the father and the daughter irritated me, and I felt the book ended really abruptly. That said, I appreciated the historical information about Nelson Mandela and the theme of reconciliation that was developed throughout as Berry tried to come to terms with both her sister's death and her parents' divorce.
A E Fox
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful story. I really felt like I could understand the MC and her fight against hope. I highly recommend this book. When first starting, I was doubtful of how developed the story would be since it was under 160 pages. I was stunned. It takes great skill to fit all that Carolyn Coman fit into this book. I am glad that I picked it up at the library.
Lisa Hoppe
More like 2.5 stars. I feel like this book had potential but never got there. I found myself wondering what the point was.
Scott To
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
"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
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Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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Carolyn Coman (born 1951 in Evanston near Chicago) is a writer of children's books living in South Hampton, New Hampshire. Her books What Jamie Saw (1995) and Many Stones (2000) were nominated for several awards.

She worked as a bookbinder from 1975-84 and later as an editor with Heinemann before she became a full-time writer. Her books include the portrait documentary of the debut, and a picture b