Jeremy Stone

Overview

Jeremy Stone, the new young adult novel from acclaimed author Lesley Choyce, is told in free verse format. After moving from a residential school to a new school in a new community, Jeremy, a First Nations teenage boy is trying to find out where he fits in the world. He soon meets Caitlan, an intense girl who tells him about another boy – a boyfriend of hers – who has committed suicide. Jeremy isn’t sure whether he has much to offer Caitlan, given his own uncertainties, but he ...

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Jeremy Stone

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Overview

Jeremy Stone, the new young adult novel from acclaimed author Lesley Choyce, is told in free verse format. After moving from a residential school to a new school in a new community, Jeremy, a First Nations teenage boy is trying to find out where he fits in the world. He soon meets Caitlan, an intense girl who tells him about another boy – a boyfriend of hers – who has committed suicide. Jeremy isn’t sure whether he has much to offer Caitlan, given his own uncertainties, but he is solid and supportive towards his new friend.

A lot of the support comes from Old Man, the spirit of Jeremy’s dead grandfather, with whom he has frequent illuminating conversations. In fact, Jeremy has frequent contact with the spirit world – his grandfather, Jenson, the suicide, as well as a childhood friend of Jeremy’s, Jimmy Falcon. Each of these spirits help Jeremy find his way through a quagmire of bullying and racial taunts toward a more stable future.

Finalist for the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature—Text

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Editorial Reviews

Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Lucy Schall
In this novel-in-verse, sixteen-year-old troubled loner Jeremy Stone is a First Nations teenager whose ties to the spirit world guide him through his real-world hostile academic environment and broken home. In a Caucasian school, Jeremy confronts racist bullies and is befriended by the intense Caitlin, who cuts herself and mourns her previous boyfriend whom she claims bullies drove to suicide. At home, Jeremy provides emotional support for his single mother who fights her addictions, and he longs for the father who deserted them. Jeremy’s childhood friend, his dead grandfather, and Caitlin’s former boyfriend come from the spirit world to help him, but conflicting realities between the real and spirit worlds teach Jeremy that each person’s mind and emotions determine individual truth and reality. Jeremy’s appeal comes from his compassion for others and his rather laid-back quest to solve the problems that beset him. His “who, me?” demeanor and hesitation make the discovery of his own powers even more believable and give his story broad audience appeal that includes reluctant readers. His angry language could be considered controversial, but it is realistic, and the challenging ideas and engaging images communicated in poetic thoughts and dialogue provide for the possibility of much discussion among generations. Try this with The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown, 2007/Voya August 2007), as well as works by Joseph Bruchac and Debby Dahl Edwardson. Reviewer: Lucy Schall; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-15
Just like a geode, Jeremy Stone appears unremarkable on the outside, while his inner life shimmers with the complexity of glittering crystals. Being the quiet new kid at school and the only Native American inspires other dichotomies: a folded-up note from a sympathetic classmate that gets intercepted by "the cruel ugly fucks who think they run the world." The outside reads, "Loser" and "Welcome to Hell," but inside, in beautiful cursive: "Don't let the bastards get to you. Caitlan." Caitlan becomes a touchstone, if a troubled one. Meanwhile, Jeremy imagines spiritual advice on survival from Old Man, his deceased grandfather: "Don't say too much. / Don't feel too much. / Don't reveal who you are. / Don't stay in one place too long." Choyce's novel traverses the difficult landscapes of identity, depression, violence, parental struggles, substance abuse, bullying, cutting and suicide with the brilliant accessibility of free verse, which may have particular appeal to reluctant readers. Jeremy's shamanlike gift to navigate between real and spirit worlds leads him to conclude that "what is real to us / is what we believe is real." Few would disagree, though readers' journeys to that conclusion become difficult in the final third of the book, as the account loses focus and begins to meander. Despite a disappointing ending, an intricate story that opens up the universe of troubled silence. (Verse/fiction. 14-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889955042
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/15/2014
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,400,200
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lesley Choyce’s words are spare, vivid, and very accessible for teenage readers. He is the author of many novels for young adult readers including Random, Book of Michael, Dumb Luck, The End of the World as We Know It, and Living Outside the Lines. He lives in Nova Scotia.

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