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Stone Fox

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  12,594 ratings  ·  1,158 reviews
John Reynolds Gardiner's classic action-packed adventure story about a thrilling dogsled race has captivated readers for more than thirty years.

Based on a Rocky Mountain legend, Stone Fox tells the story of Little Willy, who lives with his grandfather in Wyoming. When Grandfather falls ill, he is no longer able to work the farm, which is in danger of foreclosure. Little Wi
Paperback, 30th Anniversary Edition, 96 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 1980)
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Cheyenne Probably because it's about how Stone Fox helped Little Willy even though Little Willy is a white person and Stone Fox islikes white people for what…moreProbably because it's about how Stone Fox helped Little Willy even though Little Willy is a white person and Stone Fox islikes white people for what they did to his Indian Tribe. This book just shows you that in the time it takes to lose a good friend you can make another just as quickly. And it shows that if you really put your mind to it you can suceed. Just like what grandfather would say "If there's a will, there's way."(less)

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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,594 ratings  ·  1,158 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Mar 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
I honestly have not gotten whiplash like that in years.

The First 95%

Me: This is a classic novel. A book to be read with dignity and grace. Young William needs to save the farm, the crops and above all, his grandfather.

Also me: They call him Little Willy. *uncontrollable giggles*

The Last 5%

What. The. Absolute. Hell.

That was NOT how you do a book.

The Summary

Little Willy's grandfather gives up on life.

Willy holds down the farm, brings in the crops and cares for his depressed grandfath
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh, that ending! As you read you know how you want it to end, and then you think you know how it will end, and the moment arrives and your heart just stops!

A story of love, courage, community, and determination building in gradual suspense towards its emotional end.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kids who can handle tragic reads
Recommended to Werner by: My oldest grandson
Shelves: childrens
My oldest grandson Philip (age 10, the same age as Willy, the protagonist of this very short kid's chapter book) is an avid reader who reads above grade level, an interest I obviously encourage. He recently read this book himself, and was excited about it enough to want to share his copy so I could read it too. Being about to be between books anyway, and being interested in connecting with him in a shared reading experience, I agreed. It proved to be a very quick read --an adult could read it in ...more
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-list
My nine-year-old "assigned" this book to me. We are getting more of that of late...she is unimpressed by my reading piles and I love that she wants to share the books she enjoys with me. This was a book her third-grade teacher read aloud to the class this year. It's based on a legend that may be true (but may not be), and I think reading it aloud is just the way to read it. It's almost too short for me to count here (I would have read it in one sitting if not for the fact that it was late at nig ...more
Seahee Park
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Beeson
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Book Review: Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

I read this book aloud to my kids today, and let me tell you. I was a blubbering fool. I used to roll my eyes and laugh when my mom cried at emotional stories. Now I'm her.

Except this time, Bubs (nearly 7) wasn't rolling his eyes. He was crying, too.

Are you familiar with this very short chapter book? Here's a brief overview:

Little Willy may only be ten, but that doesn't mean he can't run a potato farm. His grandfather has become very ill. Willy is
BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
I have read this book 3 times (once with each of my daughters and now with my 2nd grade students) and each time I am a complete emotional wreck by the end. This short chapter book really tugs at the heartstrings and leaves so much to feel and discuss.
Jonathan Peto
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though I finished it days ago, this story is still growing on me. While I read it aloud to my class, I had a lot of doubts. The writing is fine, but I was not thrilled with the story’s glumness. I don’t oppose that, on principle, or in general, but it just did not seem to have a point. There were also details that did not float my boat or got stuck in my craw. For example, I was confused by the grandfather’s condition, very confused, and still am.

However, the stunned silence of the children at t
Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Don, Celeste, and I cried like babies when we read this together, many years ago. We still remember Stone Fox as one our fondest reading memories. Go, Searchlight, go!
Annie Risher
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It was really good. This was about teaching people to care for others and try to help them work things out. Willie tried helping out his grandfather and did everything he could. The ending was sad, but I still liked it a lot. Searchlight was Willie's dog, and she worked hard for him. She ran too fast, and it hurt her heart. You will love this book as much as me.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is sad but i don't want to spoal it
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Such a sad and beatiful story very touching. Read this in third grade as a read aloud. Loved it so much that I bought the book and I stilll continue to re-read it.
Amber Kennedy
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Mangler
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
This is a great little story about courage and determination and love.
Jenni DaVinCat
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is short and sweet. I can see why children might love it, but at the same time I should have realized that any book with a dog on the cover (view spoiler)

It's written in very easy language and would be something wonderful for a parent to share with their child. I sometimes like to go back and read
Kathleen Meacham
Very sweet -- bring tissues to this read!
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not into children's books? Then you may want to pass on this one. However, I think the story can be enjoyed by a reader of any level. Just realize that the vocabulary and reading level may be not what you are used to. I'm into children's books of many types because I am a teacher.

But it's decent historical fiction, coming of age writing. I couldn't sleep the other night and picked this up. It's not long. I finished it before my eyes gave out on me. It would be like reading a short story to most
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Evocative black and white illustrations enhance a simply told story, recreating a simpler world of the past, where small boys could try to save the family farm and neighbors would do all they could to help. Willy’s grandfather has always cared for him. But now it’s Willy’s turn and he’ll do anything he can to bring his grandfather's mind back from the brink. But powerful banks conspire against him, and there’s only way Willy can raise the necessary money. Unfortunately someone else needs that mo ...more
Lana Harriman
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Personal Reflection - I chose to read this book because I’d seen it being used in the classroom when I was subbing as a Para. Each and every single student, boys and girls alike, were thoroughly enjoying the book and from what little I’d learned about it while there, I just knew I had to add it to my list of future reads. It did not disappoint! The book was easy to relate to and certainly pulled at my heartstrings. The theme of hope, hard work, and dedication are practically my motto and this bo ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of those titles I always wanted to read and since it was on this year's Reading Olympics, it peaked my curiosity. The resilience, selflessness, and bravery Little Willy the main character of Stone Fox exhibits makes such a powerful impression. I loved this adventure story, that feels so different than adventure stories I'm currently reading for young audiences. Little Willie shows such grit when all seems lost, his grandfather, his farm, and the work that needs to be done is all left ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well now I know why teachers are known for how they can't read this book aloud to the classroom without being struck by a coughing fit or having their allergies suddenly kick up out of nowhere.

The ending was so shocking to me. I bolted up off the floor to replay it to make sure I heard it right.

I did.

I didn't see it coming.

Anyone who doesn't cry at the end of this one has a questionable soul.

This will be one I will love and reread for years to come, and most likely cry every time because I'm a
Season Neal
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Little Willy goes the extra mile to save his grandfather's potato farm when Grandfather turns very ill. He does everything in his power to save the farm when they are at risk for losing everything they care about. A wonderful way to teach perseverance and courage to young chilren. My students loved the edge of their seat suspense as we learn whether or not Little Willy will succeed.
Dec 23, 2018 added it
this book is so touching. it made me cry for a whole day.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Wow, was not expecting that ending. What a tearjerker.
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It is sad at the end but it is a really good book.
Feb 18, 2011 is currently reading it
well I have not read all of it but its real good I think you would like it.
Terra Videre
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I first read this tiny book when I was in elementary school. I'm now finishing college and this short story has touched me just as much. I used to cry just over the ending for the obvious reason, which I won't mention because "spoilers", but now I teared up through the whole story and *sobbed* at the end. My own experiences with mental health gave me insight and compassion to Grandfather's condition, and (as cliche as it sounds) having a close relationship with my own dog gave a personal element ...more
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
My 8-year-old brought this home from school and told me I should read it, so I did. She totally gave away the ending, which otherwise I think would have come as a total shock. It was a simple story at a great level for her age. I feel a little silly giving a children's book only two stars, but I think that it could have had a bit more development, a bit more to it and still be a suitable book for young kids. It just felt really bare bones and there wasn't a lot to it.
The two main things it has g
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Around the Year i...: Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner 1 7 Sep 09, 2018 08:06AM  

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John Reynolds Gardiner was an American author and engineer. Born in Los Angeles, California, he earned his master's degree from UCLA. He was a successful engineer before working on his first children's book. Always creative, in his younger years he ran Num Num Novelties, home to such originals as the aquarium tie. He lived in West Germany and Central America, and taught writing workshops around th ...more
“Is she dead, Mr. Stone Fox? Is she dead?” little Willy asked, looking up at Stone Fox with his one good eye.” 4 likes
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