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Stones for My Father

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Corlie Roux’s farm life in South Africa is not easy: the Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend, Sipho, and in Africa itself and ...more
Hardcover, 170 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Tundra Books (first published March 8th 2011)
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3.70  · 
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 ·  188 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Won this book in LibraryThing's Early Reviewers giveaway. I like when that happens!

For the most part, you get what you expect here, some straightforward children's historical fiction. (Technically: I suppose this is a middle-grade book.) As a kid myself I read lots and lots and lots of this genre, and though I loved it greatly, what I remember reading doesn't stand out in memory as very unique. Like anything I guess, it can be a pat genre, and I expected a lot of that from this book. Mostly due
“in my heart of hearts I wanted my mother to love me. But I also knew that she would never forgive me for who I was…We were at a stalemate, just like in the war.” (p. 159 Stones for My Father)

In her young adult novel Stones for My Father, Trilby Kent presents the experience of a small group of Afrikaner women, children, and their "Kaffirs" (African servants) during the period of the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) through the eyes of a young Boer girl, 12-year-old Corlie Roux. The narra
Ishta Mercurio
This book was awarded the 2012 TD Children's Literature Award, so I was really looking forward to reading it. Set in South Africa during the Boer War, Stones For My Father introduces us to Corlie, a heroine with nerve, smarts, compassion, and an abundance of courage. There is a lot to recommend this book.

I found the portrayal of Corlie's relationship with her younger brother Gert, wavering between part jealous sibling and part loving caretaker, to be spot on. I also loved the description of the
I received this book free from Librarything's early reviewers program.

This is a short, easy to read but well-plotted novel about a historical event few Americans know anything about. I was aware that there had been such thing as a Boer War in South Africa and had heard something about internment camps, but that was about it.

The protagonist, a twelve-year-old Boer girl, was locked up in a prison camp with her mother and younger brothers, a dreadful place where disease was rampant and people starv
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
I like reading historical fiction. I learn about events/countries/cultures that I didn't know existed, or know very little about. When I was in Bermuda last year, I found out that the British shipped prisoners of war from the Boer War to Bermuda. I was looking for something to read recently, I came across this title. This book gives information and insight into that conflict from the perspective of a 12 year old Boer girl. Very well written and thought provoking. Highly recommended.
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A short novel on the Anglo-Boer War. It was kind of neat to see familiar names in the novel of the local doctors in my area, as many doctors in Canada come from South Africa.
The story was well written and the language was delicate. A good way to learn about some of the involvement of Canadians during this war.
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
The second half made me bump it up to 3 *, but the ending made me doubt that decision. Over all a great little historical YA novel.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
For a second time, the British are invading her beloved homeland in an attempt to control Africa’s gold mines, land, and its people. It’s 1899 and Tweede Vryheidsoorlog: The Second War of Liberation is about to change everything that twelve-year-old Corlie Roux knows and loves.

Corlie’s life will never be the same after her father’s death leaves her cold, cruel mother alone on the family farm to raise Corlie and her two brothers, Gert and Hansie. As soldiers sweep across the land salting the ear
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review: Stones For My Father by Trilby Kent. 07/20/2018

This is another Early Reviewer book that was published in 2011 and re-published now in 2018. The book was written by a Canadian author with a few flaws but never got in the way of my reading. I enjoyed the book and the subject material captivated me because of the history. The story is set in Africa during the Boer War. I like historical fiction because realism is always throughout the book. History fascinates me because in fills in some of
Prachi Pal
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have read enough war literature over a few years. But a child's perspective and survival in the Anglo-Boer war shook my insides with pain and heartache. The immeasurable human suffering and brutality, the harsh waves of human emotions and sheer sense of loss clenched at my heart when I read this book!

A short, yet transforming read! A few pages would be blotched with my tears, a few others would have tattered ends because I clutched it so hard for support. Some of them would have my thumb marks
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
**3.5 stars**

I had to read this for class and though I didn’t hate it, I didn’t really enjoy the first half of it either. It picked up toward the end, especially the last 15 pages or so where all the walls and prejudices came down. Before that I found it a bit slow and surprisingly unemotional for such a heavy book.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The story of a young girl during the Boer Wars. She has a troubled relationship with her mother. We see the results of the British's burnt earth policy on the women and children. Then she goes into an internment camp. I hadn't realized Canadian soldiers fought for Britain during the Boer Wars.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Short, interesting story mostly about the women and children, Boers, who suffered during the Anglo-Boer war.
4 Out of 5
Twelve-year-old Corlie Roux lives in South Africa, a beautiful but dangerous place. Her father is dead and her mother is horrible to her, but she loves her brothers, best friend Sipho and the African bush.
But everything is changing, falling apart. The British are attacking, destroying Boer’s farms and homes. Some of the men have made it into the bush to fight, and some families have been able to escape. The unlucky ones have been taken to internment camps.
When everything she knew is
May 01, 2011 added it
I am a sucker for historical fiction. There is something about experiencing that little slice of history through someone who is 'there' and not someone who is reflecting upon it later that allows my imagination to soar. However, I was reluctant to pick up this book because the cover is a plain sepia and brown, and I was unsure of what was waiting for me. My reservations all disappeared once I started reading and was transported to turn of the century South Africa. My eyes raced across the page i ...more
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Story Description:

Tundra|March 22, 2011|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-77049-252-3

Corlie Roux’s farm life in South Africa is not easy. The Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies,she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend,Sipho, and in Africa itself and in the stories she conjures for her brothers.

But Corl
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Nov. 28/12 About 1/2 through the novel. While well-written, have some problems - there's a section of the book where Corlie and her younger brother Gert encounter a Canadian soldier - though the children speak no English, a point makes several times, nonetheless the first-person narrative relates his side of the conversation which is just bizarre - both the children and the Canadian establish a kind of sign language and I could see that working but nope - Kent pretends that we can understand eve ...more
Heather Pearson
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heather by: Tundra
Shelves: canadian
Children are the most resilient. They can turn an untenable situation into a positive action. Adults tend to be so set in their ways that they are unable to see any other option but to continue doing what they were doing. Corlie Roux was put in a situation of adapt or die. At twelve years old, she knew there was so much more to life than she had seen so far. Growing up in 1890's South Africa with her Boer family was hard. Her father died when she was 9 and she now lived with her ever resentful m ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reason for Reading: In my love of all things Victorian, I enjoy reading historical fiction about the Boer War, especially when it involves the Canadians who fought in the war.

This is a haunting story of the Boer War (fought in what is now South Africa) between the Africaaners (of Dutch descent) and the British. Told through the eyes of a young girl, we are told the behind the scenes side of the war, that of the Boer women and children left alone on the veldt to fend for themselves. Often their h
My mind seems to be on covers today. Here's one that is, for the book, absolutely perfect. You only need one look to know that that little girl lives a hard life: not necessarily one harder than anyone around her, but hard nonetheless. (I'm reminded strongly of American Dust Bowl pictures from the 1930s, actually.)

And Corlie does have a hard life. It's the late 1800s in South Africa, her beloved father's dead, and she and her family -- including a mother who has never shown any love to Corlie --
Sammee (I Want to Read That)
This is a great example of how history can really be brought to life through fiction. I knew nothing about the Boer War before reading this but now feel as if I have a good idea of what it would have been like to have lived through it.

I adored Colie. She has a resilience and strength to her that I envy. Her mother is absolutely awful to her but she doesn't let it affect how much she loves her family. I did think there might be an explanation for why her mother behaved in the way she did - and al
May 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I didn't know much about the Boer Wars before reading this book. So I went into the novel with a great deal of apprehension because I am not really interested in historical fiction. However, I did find that once I overcame some of the terminology and the language barriers, that I was able to really enjoy the book.

The beginning was a little slow and I had difficultly "getting into" the story of Corlie Roux until the family was driven from there home, right before the British soldiers arrived. On
Books and Literature for Teens
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Middle graders or teens; Ages 10+
After reading Kent’s debut novel, Medina Hill, I was excited to do another blog tour featuring her newest book. Once again Kent paints a unique time and place setting that holds a touching message of hope, survival, and family.
Similar to the war-torn stories like I Am David, Stones for My Father follows a young girl whose life is dramatically changed by violence and war. Corlie’s search for the truth also plays a wonderful part of the novel as she not only battles the hardships of an abusive par
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Why I read this: I really enjoyed Trilby's previous book Medina Hill and was happy to join her tour for Stones of My Father.

Plot: Corlie is constantly feeling her mother's wrath. When they have to abandon their farm to flee the British, she finally finds out why her mother favors her younger brothers over her. This book really tore into my emotions and was quite a turbulent ride. Trilby has again produced a book that really speaks to the reader and gives such a clear view of that time in history
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
Stones For My Father is an interesting glimpse into the world of the Anglo-Boer War, and the people who were involved in it. It’s a neat slice of history that may be little known to some people, but this book is a perfect starting place. It covers all the facts in an easy-to-read, but still well written way. The characters are realistic and the world of the South African wilderness is beautifully described.
Some authors struggle with having a particular ‘voice’ when writing historic novels like t
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read so many wonderful books in my life, many of which I gave four stars (which, as we all know, is a totally arbitrary and somewhat meaningless judgment). STONES FOR MY FATHER received five stars because this was for me a perfect gem of a book. The setting (South Africa’s Transvaal) and time (Boer wars) are unusual, but what I loved most was how tightly focused the author stayed on 12—year-old Corlie Roux and how the war affects her and her family. Even though the time (1899-1902), peopl ...more
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Although a short book, Trilby Kent has managed to fit an enormous tale within the pages. You are introduced to Coraline Roux, a young girl living in South Africa, and follow her through her experience of the Anglo-Boer War.
Corlie struggled not just with the events of the war, but her own personal battles. I felt the immense urge to reach through the pages to hold and comfort this child, for everything that she went through.
Any war is cruel in its harsh reality, and the story
Apr 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
A story set in a time and place and among events that most westerners today are not familiar with, "Stones for My Father" manages to inform and entertain at the same time - even though it is rather short and a quick read (I'd say it's middle school level. I read it in one evening.). Kent does a very good job of bringing her characters alive without having to describe them to death, and is able to do the same with the setting and plot. I like it when authors are able to say much in fewer words - ...more
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Stones of My Father is a story of a young girl and her family as the face the Anglo-Boer war. Corlie Roux narrates the story from the view of an innocent girl who endures many hardships during te war and even before it started.

I enjoyed reading this book and following Corlie through her seemingly miserable life. Since this is written from her view the writing matches that of a child so can be a bit simple. I would have liked a bit more added to the end as to what happens to her but overall this
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Trilby grew up in cities in Canada, the United States and England. After studying History at Oxford University and Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, training as a maps specialist at a London auction house and pursuing journalistic work from Belgium to the Philippines, she began writing fiction for adults and young adults. This led to an AHRC studentship to complete a PhD in Cr ...more