The Great Stone Face: A Tale by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Great Stone Face

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gary D. Schmidt retells Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Great Stone Face, illus. by Bill Farnsworth, about a village prophecy that a man will be born with the likeness of the visage etched into the stone cliff that stretches above their valley and "will be the noblest person of his time." Only young Ethan and the town pastor still have faith in the prophecy. The artist's luminous oil paintings convey the lush valley as well as the quiet leadership that emanates from Ethan over the years-until readers themselves will recognize, as Ethan's granddaughter does, that the prophecy has indeed been fulfilled.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-The Great Stone Face (more commonly referred to today as "The Old Man of the Mountains) juts out from the White Mountains of New Hampshire and looms over a small village. An old prophecy states that: "Someone will be born hereabouts who will look just like the Great Stone Face, and he will be the noblest person of his time." Like many others, young Ethan watches the faces of returning famous men for signs of the gentle wisdom seen in the face. The rich merchant, however, is grasping, the soldier only stern, and the politician-well, a politician. Ethan, meanwhile, works hard on his farm, and is looked up to by his neighbors for the thoughtful counsel he offers. When he is an old man, people remark that they fear they will never see the prophecy fulfilled. Ethan's granddaughter, touching his face, remarks that it was fulfilled long ago. Schmidt has done a credible job of retelling Hawthorne's classic tale, eliminating flowery language, and rendering it accessible for a new generation. While the story is intrinsically a teaching tool, this retelling avoids didacticism and lets the events speak for themselves. Farnsworth's oil paintings do a fine job of capturing the beauty of the New England landscape. There is a still, slightly hazy quality to them that is entirely appropriate to the meditative tone of the book. This thoughtful look at what it means to live a good life is as relevant today as when first written.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802851949
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 years
  • Product dimensions: 9.14 (w) x 11.38 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 8, 2012

    The amount of foreshadowing in this tale is emaculate. It was a

    The amount of foreshadowing in this tale is emaculate. It was a joy to read the book and then have the "ah ha" moment at the end when I realized that the whole time the story was unfolding foreshadowing had taken place. I especially liked when Earnest's mom told him that he would meet the man that looked like the great stone face.

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