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Snakes and Stones

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Twelve-year-old Chestnut Hill’s daddy stole her and the triplets away from their mama. At least, that’s how Chestnut remembers it.

It’s 1921, and after nearly two years on the road with his traveling elixir show, Daddy’s still making no move to go back to Kentucky and buy Mama that house. So Chestnut is forced to come up with her own plan to get home. At night, when Daddy a
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Sky Pony
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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 ·  45 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Cristina Monica
3.5 stars.

What a heart-warming historical middle grade novel.

With a focus on family relationships, it narrates the story of twelve-year-old Chestnut who travels with her three younger siblings and her Daddy from town to town to sell this peculiar (and very much fake) elixir that is supposedly miraculous for your health.

Except Chestnut hates it. She hates the shows. She hates the lying. And she hates her Daddy for taking her and her siblings away from their mother two years ago. She wants to go
Carol Baldwin
You may have heard how a book's setting can act like a character in a story. Although the setting for this book changes as twelve-year-old Chestnut Hill and her younger triplet siblings (Hazel, Filbert, and Macadamia) and their traveling salesman father go from southern town to southern town peddling his elixir, it also stays the same. It's 1921 and their old horse-drawn circus wagon is their home, storefront, and stage for their "show." Chestnut's job--which she hates--is to testify that the el ...more
T.D. Edwards
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
The instant I opened this book and read the first page, 12-year-old Chestnut Hill was there to greet me with a voice so distinct, I could hear it plain-as-day throughout the entirety of the book. With her humorous voice, the self-proclaimed "country-bumpkin" engages readers in a tale about her unusual family. Chestnut is the oldest of 4 children, her younger siblings being 7-year-old triplets, and they are out on the road with their father, regularly putting on shows to sell magical elixir to an ...more
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let me say right up front... I loved this book from beginning to end. My only regret is that I no longer have a grade 6,7,8 class to read it aloud to. I so wanted to do that so I substituted my three little dogs to read to. I am sure they thought I had completely lost it... but, loving me as they do they obediently laid on their little bed and listened as I read the book out loud to them.

Lisa Fowler's debut book, set in America South 1921, is fantastic. I was drawn into the story from page one
Ms. Yingling
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Chestnut Hill's father is a traveling elixir (aka snake oil) salesman who travels around the south in 1921 trying to earn enough money to keep Chestnut and her triplet siblings Filbert, Hazelnut and Macadamia in food and clothing. This isn't easy, especially since the group is frequently run out of town by angry officers of the law who don't appreciate that there is an entertainment value in addition to the elixir. Chestnut is tired of traveling, and misses her mother dreadfully, and it doesn't ...more
Christie Allred
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sally Apokedak
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love immediately with Chestnut, and her younger sibs--the triplets Mac (Macadamia), Hazel, and Filbert.

I fell in love with the mountain voice, the snake-oil-salesman dad, and with all the other characters--even the house, old Stump. A rich, rich middle-grade novel full of humor and heart. Chestnut learns that life is not black and white and people are not what they seem at first glance.

Kristi Bell
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Chestnut Hill and her triplet brothers and sisters are with their father selling "elixir" across the South in the early 1920s. Chestnut hates the side show that her father puts on to sell his elixir. It bothers her that she and her brothers and sister have to fake the show to get people to buy it. All she wants to do is to go back home and be with her mama. Along the way, she discovers some family history and realizes things are not as she thought.

Language: None
Sex: None
Violence: None
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting story with a likable, witty main character. It's 1921 and Chestnut travels the South with her Daddy and triplet siblings selling a healing elixir. The ending feels incomplete and the pessimist in me can't help but imagine the worst. Still, a good read and worth it just to hear Chestnut's colorful voice.
Sippin' on Gin and Books
Phenomenal book - an excellent read for people of all ages! Fowler really hit a home run with this one!
Taryn Souders
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved Fowler's voice in this historical novel! A great story with beautiful language and humor.
Cookie Pup
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you don't know much about the 1920s then some will be confusing but overall, a very good story.
Jill Cd
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-17, chapter-book
I loved the voice and perspective in this book. Things are not always as they seem!
Jaina Rose
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: blogged
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

My life has been so crazy lately between applying to college, doing my regular schoolwork, and traveling to visit colleges (and then making up for those trips by working even harder to catch up in school). I'm so busy lately that I literally had to schedule time for blogging into my to-do list! This is the first time in a long time that I've actually had to force myself to make time for reading, and it's not really so great.

Anyway, I'm hap
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
For some reason, I thought there was a supernatural element to this book – there isn’t, but I wasn’t disappointed by that. This book is set in the south during the early 1920s. Chestnut has a strong, backwoods accent, yet instead of being distracting or hard to decipher, it felt genuine and earnest. She is around twelve and is tasked with caring for her sister and two brothers, seven-year-old triplets, while they travel around the southern states in their father’s caravan selling his lies.

Emma Clement
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I got a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Here it is.

This was a very cute and sweet children's novel. It has themes of family, right vs. wrong, and how blacks vs. whites were treated in the 20s. A very nice novel, and one I would recommend to people looking for an easy read with a nice story and moral!
Mark Buxton
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
My name is Chestnut, and my Daddy stole us kids from our Mama. We been traveling around the country for two years now, and I'm gettin' tired of lyin' for him. We live out of a horse-drawn wagon, and he's cheatin' people by selling them his amazin' elixir. Heck, it's just a bottle of water and grass, and Daddy's been beaten by angry mobs when they find out. I don't know why he took us from Mama, but I know things'll be okay if I can find her. Daddy'd be plenty angry if he knew I been hangin' post ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
My daughter (10) and I both thought there were too many similes. My daughter said it the moment after I thought it. Apparently we both noticed at the same time early in the book. They were fresh and funny similes, but it felt like the author kept thinking of them and was trying to fit them all in, when it may have been better to cut a few out. It was just too much and became a bit distracting.
Loved the Southern feel. The ending...? Wow. Pretty harsh. And the triplets don't even get to be involv
Dan Shonka
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Snakes and Stones is a big-hearted story of Chestnut Hill, a young Southern girl in the '20s who is trying desperately to bring her family together. It's a nutty family, to be sure. . . all the kids are named after kinds of nuts (Chestnut and the triplets; Hazelnut [Hazel], Macadamia [Mac], and Filbert). The dad is dragging the kids all over the South, with each of them taking part in his selling of a wonder-working elixir. There's plenty of action, friction, a twist, and a happy ending. (I'm a ...more
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Jan 21, 2020
Skyhorse Publishing
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