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The Stones Are Hatching

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  249 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The Worm is waking... After centuries of undisturbed slumber, the Stoor Worm -- the World Eater -- is waking. A creature of monstrous proportions and unimaginable evil, the Worm must be destroyed. Already its murderous hatchlings are spreading terror and destruction. And a strange trio -- Mad Sweeney the Fool, Alexia the Maiden, and the Obby Oss, a two-legged, talking hors ...more
Published June 18th 2002 by HarperTeen (first published April 1st 2000)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  249 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Miz Lizzie
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miz Lizzie by: Katherine Langrish
The Stones are Hatching is a dark and delicious fantasy fully steeped in actual folklore and folk beliefs of Britain. Ostensibly a children's book, this is the kind of old-fashioned fantasy that will appeal to the rare modern-day child who adores fairy tales (and I mean the real fairy tales, not the Disney and Disneyfied versions that are all most children today are exposed to) but will primarily resonate with older readers who have an appreciation for the folk traditions at the root of the story. The Stoor ...more
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 8, childrens, 2006
I liked it.

I was a little uncertain at first, but I soon realised that was a sign that I hadn't read any truly British YA fantasy lately and was in US mode, which I think has a different tone. It certainly has a different tone to this.

Once I realised that, I fell back into the more UK mindset of the books I read from the library as a YA myself. (In those days, I had no money and borrowed library books, which were mainly English; these days I buy books through my specialty bookstore and they te
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book packed with old English folk legends and traditions. At times it gets pretty dark, too, for what's ostensibly a kids book. Anyone with an interest in the folk traditions of the UK would enjoy this.
Ian Wong
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is really beautifully written, and I love British folklore, which The Stones Are Hatching is full of – but admittedly I slightly wished Phee's constant negativity made him a little one-note throughout (and not just a bit frustrating), and the ending – the ending! – while somewhat appropriate also felt a little rushed and unsatisfactory. I need more!
Oct 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
I couldn't get myself to like this book, despite the abundance of fantasy creatures overwhelming a previously normal countryside in England. I think that was the problem: the abundance. The book seemed desperate to include absolutely every critter invented by the English---house hobs, red caps, big snakes that suck cows dry, corn women, reaper ghouls---not to mention the variety of bizarre rituals to keep them at bay. If the book had focused on only a few of these, if it had devoted more time to ...more
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
I have to say this is probably the weirdest book I have ever read. At times I felt like it read like an encyclopedic work of folklore with a bit of story superimposed on it, but McCaughrean has a brilliant way of describing physical responses.
Daniel Wright
Drawing on a huge body of folklore and mythology, McCaughrean creates a charming children's story in a beautiful and vividly imaginative world.
I hated this book at first but actually it was awesome. Very fairy-tale-ful-like.
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Started slow, but as I read it really picked up the pace. There is some scary material here in this novel based on Celtic folklore.
Cathy Hall
Jun 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Geraldine McCaughrean, but this took a while for me to get into the story. It's a great story once it warms up (pun kinda intended).
The Overflowing Inkwell
I couldn't enjoy this one at all. The beginning was okay, where he's at home and you see some familiar creatures - though I'd never heard about the Glashans - but after that it's just a mess of vague shapes chasing after the group to the seaside. Every possible mythical beastie was in this one, and none of them were ever really described properly. I never got a good image of what was after them, so this book never felt suspenseful. I couldn't care about any of them; though, unlike other reviewer ...more
Grace Tracey
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I honestly can't tell if I hated or liked this book.
Jackie "the Librarian"
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not recommended.
Shelves: fantasy, youngadult
Phelim Green awakens one morning to find the door and windows barricaded, and an enormous Black Dog trying to get in. The house familiar, the Domovoy, tells Phelim that he is Jack o’ Green and he must go fight the Hatchlings, and forces him out.
Phelim meets a crazy man in the trees called Sweeney, who also says Phelim is Jack o’ Green, and he’s Phelim’s Fool. Phelim meets his Maiden Alexia next, a pale girl with no shadow, who explains that the great Stoor Worm has been roused by the grea
This young adult fantasy novel is about a boy named Phelim Green who is told by a variety of magical creatures that he is the only one who can stop the terrifying Stoor Worm from awakening. The Stoor Worm was supposed to sleep eternally in the British landscape, but is being woken too early from its sleep by the violence of WWI, especially the sounds of gunfire. As the Stoor Worm awakens, her Hatchlings begin to awaken too, and mystical, magical, evil things start happening all across the countr ...more
Anne Hamilton
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2011 added it
2004-Tired of Harry Potter? Try Philem Green! This young adult fantasy set in 1919 England grabs you right away. The hero of our story, Philim, awakens one morning to find his kitchen filled with glashans, a people who are normally invisible to humans. The glashans want Philim to help them, for the Worm is waking, and as she does, her Hatchings are wreaking havoc across the country. Philim is quite confused at first, but with the help of a Fool, a Maiden, and a Horse, he discovers that he seems ...more
Jan 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Eleven year old Phelim is called upon to save England from the gigantic Stour Worm, assisted only by Mad Sweeney, the witch Alexia, and 'Obby 'Oss (the horse). Understandably, he feels overwhelmed. Based on a wealth of ancient British folklore, it describes the worst of what would happen if folktales came alive. No Tinkerbell or friendly Jiminy Cricket in this peculiar story. McCaughrean is a well respected writer in the UK, but this book was hard to keep on with. Two and 1/2 stars, really. The ...more
Kind of a dark British fairytale. A bit irritating with the whiny main character, but the story is kind of a conglomeration of the old tales of Jack Green, the Obby Orse, the Awakening Wurm, etc. Also includes some sacrificing. It felt kind of choppy, and probably would have been less frustrating if one of the other characters just sat down and explained to the main character what had to happen.
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is aimed at a younger audience, and starts with a flash. The hero is an unlikely one, a brow beaten youth with a controlling older sister. The scene, just after WWII. The place, England.

A fascinating mix of legend and fantasy written into an engaging tale of a youngster growing up and taking his own life under control.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chapter, fantasy
This book failed to capture my imagination and I couldn't finish it. It is rare for me not to finish a book but this is the second one this week. Maybe I am just in a mood. Please take my review with a grain of salt.
Darcy Roar
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I couldn't tell you exactly when i read this weird little book, it was sometime in my childhood on a long car trip, what I can tell you is that it has stayed with me. I remember it being strange and uncomfortable, but in a good way. I will certainly be rereading it before long.
Zoe Kennard
I'm not even going to bother rating this... I only got 26 pages into it because I just couldn't read it. I didn't even begin to understand what was happening, and I didn't like the writing style. Maybe someday I'll read the rest... but I doubt it.
May 12, 2009 added it
Shelves: ya-lit
Very symbolic book. Has lots of mythical creatures and interesting rituals (not satanic in the least). Phelim and Alexa, the girl who doesn't have a shadow, must save the world, along with a mad man.
Mar 22, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but suspect I would have appreciated it more if I had more knowledge of fairy tales from the UK.
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
It amazed me how much English folklore I did not know. The book was well written but without the background myths I had trouble following some of what was going on.
Odd little book. Been awhile since I read it, so I will have to read it again to get a better grip on it.
Mar 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
book 28 of 2011 - aim 133 books for 2011 -- started last night
Sep 17, 2010 rated it liked it
A funky take on Celtic legends - I liked the ending. I might recommend this one for our bookclub. It's not tremendously profound, but a fun little adventure.
Apr 04, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was bored with this book and I didn't care about the characters. I couldn't find it in me to put up with the whole thing. I never finished.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
This one isn't worth reading.
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Geraldine McCaughrean was born in 1951 and brought up in North London. She studied at Christ Church College of Education, Canterbury and worked in a London publishing house for 10 years before becoming a full-time writer in 1988. She has written over 120 books, 50 short plays for schools, and a radio play.

Her adult novels include Fires’ Astonishment (1990) and The Ideal Wife (1997), bu