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Stone Wall Secrets

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  • Posted December 19, 2010

    an enjoyable read

    Of what possible use could a bunch of old stone walls on a farm be to a young person today? Adam's grandfather lives on a New England farm with many old stone walls. A mason wants to buy all the stones for buildings in the city, and Grandpa wonders what Adam thinks about it. At first, Adam suggests that Grandpa just get rid of them and make some money. But Grandpa says that it's not so simple. As the two walk along the walls, Grandpa tells Adam how the stone began as sediment from an ancient ocean, then was thrust up as mountains when continents collided, and was scraped and carried by scouring glaciers.
    Then Grandpa reminds Adam how Paleoindians used the stones for hunting mammoths, how the settlers dug them out of the ground to build the walls, and finally how he himself and his sister played on them when they were children. Co-author Robert Thorson is a professor of geology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Along with Adam, the reader learns how fascinating geology can be, but in addition this charming story also shows a positive family dynamic between different generations. Also, it is said that Adam was adopted, and as the father of two adopted sons I always appreciate books for young people which portray adopted children in typical family relationships. It was quite an enjoyable read. An accompanying teacher's guide for using the book to explore geology in the classroom by Ruth Deike is also available.

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