Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Truth About Stone Hollow

I thought I might have read this in middle school, and when I was picking a book to read last night, it was on my shelf. First checked out in 1979(published in '74) , this title from Zilpha Keatley Snyder has a languorous quality that I remember from my childhood. Set during the Depression, this slow moving mystery follows a young girl whose father was injured in an accident and a boy whose exotic family moves to a small town so the father can write a book. The two discover an abandoned house that is rumored to be haunted, and try to figure out what is going on.

Not that they do. They do spend a lot of time ruminating on it, and in the end they decide there is an ancient stone that blurs the boundaries of time. It stops short of being a fantasy, because the closest the children come to traveling themselves is seeing images of people from the past. I was confused at the end-- did the grandmother die, or was she somehow involved with the Italian man who was found dead down by the still after his daughter passed away from lockjaw? That's pure conjecture on my part.

I enjoyed the book, but am not sure that it is still viable. Styles change, students change, and sometimes old things need to go to make way for new. Not right away, but eventually.

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