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Stone Girl

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  104 reviews
I’m at the police station. There’s blood splattered across my face and clothes. In this tiny room with walls the colour of winter sky I hug a black backpack full of treasures. Only one thing is certain . . . no one can ever forgive me for what I’ve done.

An unspeakable event changes everything. No more Mum, school or bed of her own. She’s made a ward of the state and grows
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 30th 2018 by Penguin YA
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Eleni Hale
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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C.G. Drews
This is an extremely dark and harrowing read about the horrors a little girl encounters as she's flung through the foster care system. The author's note also said she was in the foster system herself for a while before getting out, can honestly feel the pain in the pages. So many adults doing too little, too late. So many children traumatised into spiralling down dark paths. It does have drug abuse and rape on page, and while Sophie starts off as 12, I definitely say this is upper YA. T ...more
Truthfully, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I saw the chance and grabbed it; I’m spontaneous like that because otherwise, I’m rather indecisive and will take forever and a day to make up my mind. I don’t think I even looked at the blurb at the back of the book and just started reading… boy, did I get the shock of my life!

The novel opens with a shocked twelve-year-old Sophie sitting at the police station. Her mother had died and it is all her fault. Her father is in Greece and she h
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
There are currently over forty five thousand children within the foster care system within Australia. These are children without a primary caregiver, children who are casualties of family violence, substance abuse or children without a nurturing environment. Her story is harrowing and confrontational and although Sophie Soukaris is a fictional character, her narrative is indicative of many adolescents placed within the system.

Sophie Soukaris has been placed within temporary care after her mother
Charlotte Annelise
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was such an important story about a girl who has to live in the foster care system after her mother dies.
Mrs Dangerfield
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book for its raw authenticity and how it tells the story of such a broken system. I could not put it down.
However I certainly wouldn't be recommending this for a young audience. We won't be putting it on our high school Library shelves. There are very in depth descriptions of shooting up and very heavy drug references. Of course this makes the story all the more real, and unfortunately is the reality for many.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Drug Abuse, Physical abuse, emotional abuse, self harm,
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK. Right here. It’s must-read #LoveOzYA. It cut me to pieces then stitched me back up ragged. I loved it.

Reading Eleni reminded me of when I was 11 or 12 and read Margaret Clark’s ‘Back on Track: Diary of a Street Kid’ and ‘Care Factor Zero’ for the first time - books about teens whose life was so different from my own, whose existence I’d never even considered or remotely understood until those stories came along. As an adult I wasn’t surprised to learn that Margaret Clark worked full
Not for the faint-hearted, Stone Girl is an uncompromising look at what life was/is/can be like for wards of the state, at how a bureaucracy of 'safety' creates a state of loneliness and despair, of rudderless-ness, of deep, deep self-loathing. Of misunderstanding. On all sides.
This books is one of those for which there will be cries of 'not in our school', of 'not on our shelves', of 'we don't want our kids knowing about drugs/ sex/ death/ fear/ despair'. But how will they know it when they see
Clare Snow
This broke me. When I've picked up my pieces I have more to say. ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stone Girl blew me away! It's the best YA debut I've read in a long time. Utterly unforgettable.

Eleni Hale spills the blood of raw experience across the pages and drew me in from the first chapter. Launching her protagonist, Sophie, on a journey through an explosive opener, and destroying the old broken world she inhabited, with a new and darker one. Page by page, I was drawn into a world that was so visceral I could almost touch it. As Sophie is drawn deeper and deeper into a world that frighte
Nadia King
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful and disturbing—’Stone Girl’ is a must-read for anyone who cares about Australia’s children.

‘Stone Girl’ tells the story of twelve-year old Sophie who finds herself completely alone when her mother dies unexpectedly. Sophie becomes a ward of the state and is shunted around accommodation options without ever having the opportunity to resume a ‘normal’ life; one with school and routine, and where people care about how you’re doing and what you’re achieving.

Eleni Hale tackles the subject of
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This book was a really confronting read about the homeless youths that get left behind when looking for foster homes. It's a sad and realistic tale about a girl who falls into drugs, street crime, alcoholism and self harm after several case workers have given up on her. While it was definitely an eye-opening read, I don't think it was for me.

Due to the coarse language, sex and self harm scenes and excess of trigger warnings (highlighted below), I would firmly place this book in the adult categor
Australia, the Lucky Country. Not for 12 year old Sophie who finds herself a ward of the State after her alcoholic mother dies. Sophie quickly learns how to survive in a broken system and lives in various foster homes while spiralling into alcohol, drugs and crime.
This is a harrowing story, based on the author's own experiences. The voice of the narrator is honest, raw and rages with frustration, anger, confusion, hopelessness and loneliness.
The book left me feeling quite deflated and unsettled
L-J Lacey
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After reading the blurb for Stone Girl I knew I had to read this book.

Sophie grows up saddled with a missing dad and a highly unreliable drunk mother. At the tender age of 12 she finds her mother dead and blames herself. As there is no one to take care of her, Sophie is taken into the Victorian government child welfare system and so begins her journey of coping with moving homes constantly; living with older kids who introduce her to smoking, drinking and stealing; and virtually being alone in
Rob De
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! But Caution! This book should only be read by teenagers 15 years and older, and if you are, it is a must read.
It took me back to my school days reading Go Ask Alice, which for me was totally confronting but also an educational and inspirational cautionary tale. Stone Girl is certainly that as it takes us on a downhill journey through the institutional care of a 12 to 16 year old ward of the state.
It is written with a real understanding and depth of character, as this is a true story experie
Carolyn Gilpin
Most definitely trigger warnings in this book (strong language, sexual abuse, drug & alcohol abuse, physical abuse), and recommended for older teens. An absolutely honest yet harrowing read - this blew me away even while it was so tough. It's a story that needs to be told, and while I know there are successful foster families out there, the system is struggling to provide for all the damaged kids out there. It was hard to deal with Sophie's voice & decisions at times, but it really gives an insi ...more
Anna 'Bookbuyer'
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011-2020, own, bc-13
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin Riedstra
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't want to give away any spoilers so instead I'll quote only the very opening because I feel like it gives you a very good idea what this novel is all about. It's gritty, it's raw and it is most definitely beautiful.

"It's 1989. I'm twelve years old. There's blood on my clothes and face, and vomit splatter on my shoes. It's cold in here. I'm at the police station, in a small room with walls the colour 9f winter sky."
C. Gurney
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. The descriptions make you feel things and I think the girl is relatable no matter who you are or where you came from. I ate this book up. Thanks to the author for sharing her story, I hope it reaches far and wide
Rachel Sanderson
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read Eleni Hale's Stone Girl in one sitting. From the first sentence, I was hooked: I couldn't put it down.

Stone Girl is the story of what happens to kids who don't have a parent or guardian who is able to care for them, and who end up in the 'care' of the state.

For the main character, Sophie, this happens when her Mum dies. Sophie is only twelve years old. As well as dealing with her own grief, guilt and confusion at her mother's death, Sophie also has to grapple with the new and unpredicta
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm at loss for words for this book. It's true when they say that you can never really know a person until you walk in their shoes. I may never really know how it feels like to be in Sophie's position but I know one thing, I am lucky and blessed to have a family.

Stone Girl showed me a world I never really understood. I had no idea of the inner workings of the Foster system or how it really impacts the children in it. I only knew what films shows. The story really gripped and tore my heart. The
Lemon Fresh
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.
It was crazy reading about areas in Melbourne that I know..
OMG the feels, this story broke my heart.
Kate Murdoch
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stone Girl moved me and made me think about marginalised youth in a more personal way. It tells the story of Sophie, made a ward of the state after a traumatic incident. She is suffering from low self-worth and grief at the same time as trying to navigate a world where no one appears to care about her plight.

Shifted from home to home, she hardens and learns survival skills as she drifts into the wrong company. Eleni Hale pulls no punches, as the reader watches Sophie lose the one advantage she
Natalie Bode
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Yes, Stone Girl is both dark and confronting. Yes, it deals with parts of life people might want to pretend don’t happen, especially to young people, but it is also a story that needs to be heard. Stone Girl is beautifully written prose, that will leave you wanting to hear more about Sophie’s journey.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
In June this year I attended an author event at the Sandringham branch of Bayside Library with my good friend and author Mairi Neil, and was introduced to a local writer I hadn't come across, Eleni Hale. Mairi blogged the event so I won't reproduce what's already been said except to say that the event was about 'turning your life into fiction'—and Eleni had mined her own life in state care to write what has now become an award-winning debut novel. Her story, as she told it on the night, was so i ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: real-life-drama
I gave this book five stars "amazing" rather than four stars "I really liked it" because it is not the sort of story that you can really "like"... to witness the down hill spiral of 12 year old Sophie at the hands of an inept welfare system was gut wrenching - all the more so because it was utterly convincing! Sophie has lived with her needy drug/alcohol addicted mother for many years and has taken on the role of "caregiver". As the blurb indicates, Sophie's (dysfunctional) life is turned upside ...more
Update. 050818 Stone Girl is in my library as a book available to senior students. I will take note of its borrowings. I am interested to see if readers will find it. It is beautifully written, but I am traumatised by it (trying to read it a second time).

I read this. I am one of those librarians Eleni was warned about. I do feel guilty about that.

I will consider it further and not rate it.
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story of Sophie needs to be read by all of us who have had such a sheltered life with loving parents and siblings. This is such an important story about children who are not cared for and protected. Powerfully and beautifully crafted by Eleni Hale.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredible, raw and powerful and everyone should read it!
St Stephen's C C
A heartbreaking story of raw survival and hope, and the children society likes to forget. A stunning and unforgettable debut YA.
An unspeakable event changes everything for twelve-year-old Sophie. No more Mum, school or bed of her own. She's made a ward of the state and grows up in a volatile world where kids make their own rules, adults don't count and the only constant is change.
Until one day she meets Gwen, Matty and Spiral. Spiral is the most furious, beautiful boy Sophie has ever known. And
Kirstie Bedford
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stone Girl gives a rare insight into a life most of us will never know. It holds nothing back, is raw, moving, and beautifully written. Each word earning its place. Most of all, it offers hope, when it seems all is lost.
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Eleni Hale's first novel Stone Girl was published by Penguin Random House May, 2018. She was previously a reporter at the Herald Sun, a communications strategist for the union movement and has written for many print and online news publications. Her short story 'Fig' was published as part of the ABC’s 'In their Branches' project and she has received three Varuna awards. She lives in Melbourne and ...more

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