Stoneheart (The Stoneheart Trilogy #1)
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Stoneheart (The Stoneheart Trilogy #1)

4.3 73
by Charlie Fletcher

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A city has many lives and layers. London has more than most. Not all the layers are underground, and not all the lives belong to the living.

Twelve-year-old George Chapman is about to find this out the hard way. When, in a tiny act of rebellion, George breaks the head from a stone dragon outside the Natural History Museum, he awakes an ancient power. This power


A city has many lives and layers. London has more than most. Not all the layers are underground, and not all the lives belong to the living.

Twelve-year-old George Chapman is about to find this out the hard way. When, in a tiny act of rebellion, George breaks the head from a stone dragon outside the Natural History Museum, he awakes an ancient power. This power has been dormant for centuries but the results are instant and terrifying: A stone Pterodactyl unpeels from the wall and starts chasing George. He runs for his life but it seems that no one can see what he's running from. No one, except Edie, who is also trapped in this strange world.

And this is just the beginning as the statues of London awake

This is a story of statues coming to life; of a struggle between those with souls and those without; of how one boy who has been emotionally abandoned manages to find hope.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Fletcher has an intriguing premise at the heart of his YA debut, the first in a planned trilogy, but the execution is flat. Twelve-year-old George Chapman is living a life that feels "pale and gray and washed out," missing his father and struggling to fit in. On a class outing to a museum, he is blamed for something he didn't do; in anger, he breaks a carved dragon's head protruding from a wall. Moments later, a stone pterodactyl on another wall comes alive and chases George through the streets of London. A man named Gunner comes to his rescue; he turns out to be a "spit," a statue made in the image of a living person and brought to life imbued with a bit of that person's spirit. Taints, conversely-like the gargoyles and dragons that suddenly pose such a threat to George-are dangerous precisely because they have nothing human in them. Stone carvings spring to life everywhere, furious with George for his act of destruction; a riddle contest with a nasty Sphinx reveals that George needs to find something called the Stone Heart to save his life and repair what he has broken. His quest takes him to an alternate, unseen London (one of many "un-Londons"), and eventually to a Minotaur's maze in the heart of the city. There is an ironic lifelessness to Fletcher's tale, particularly his protagonist who doesn't ring true; George is a bit more likeable at the finale, as he prepares to fight the murderous Walker in the sequel, but it may be too late for readers. Ages 10-up. (May)

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Children's Literature - Rachel Myers
Twelve-year-old George Chapman can never catch a break. He is picked on by his classmates and finds no real solace at home. During a class fieldtrip to the history museum, George is accused of creating a scene and sent to sit in the security guard's office until the end of the trip. As expected, George does not stay seated and wanders outside of the museum, contemplating his plight and his future. While wandering around outside, George leans for a moment against some of the images of medieval beasts and gargoyles that had been carved into the side of the museum years before, and he accidentally breaks off the head of a stone dragon. George is mildly embarrassed at his delinquency, until a pterodactyl releases itself from the side of the museum and begins to chase him. George has awoken another level of the city of London. He has caused the statues of London to come alive. Unfortunately, there is only one other person in the city who can actually see the terrorizing statues, a girl named Edie who some of the "good" statues have cautioned him not to trust. Together, George, Edie, and some of the benevolent statues lead themselves on a treasure hunt around London in an attempt to put the statues back to sleep. British turn of phrase and vocabulary may distract the reader from the true heart of the story. The author obviously enjoys using metaphors and similes, which also tend to get tedious by the middle of the story. Fantasy readers will enjoy the new ideas about an alternate universe that frequently seems identical to real life. Reviewer: Rachel Myers
VOYA - Eileen Kuhl
Fletcher offers a terrifying mixture of demons, living statues, adventure, time travel, and a puzzling riddle in this complicated work of science fiction and fantasy. While on a trip to the Natural History Museum in London, George defies his teacher and is punished. In his anger, he breaks off a small piece of a carved dragon. This callous act results in the waking of another wicked world in London. George is terrorized by a plethora of stone gargoyles and other carved figures. He discovers statues with opposing natures that inhabit the underside of the city-heartless and cruel taints and spits who retain some of the kindness and humanity of their sculptors. A World War One gunner spit befriends George and explains his predicament. He must find the mysterious Stoneheart of London, return the carving, and make amends within forty-eight hours. He meets Edie, who is familiar with this sinister world, and together they attempt to decipher the many clues to locate the Stoneheart while they are fleeing the malevolent taints. Unexpected twists keep the action moving, the deadline is pressing, and the suspense never stops. Readers will be biting their nails until the conclusion. In the end, much is explained, but some of the characters and clues remain unclear. The title is very much focused on the landmarks of London, but the setting is described well for the unfamiliar reader. Readers who enjoy fast-paced adventure with an overlay of the supernatural will devour this story. Teens who enjoy William Sleator novels and Neal Shusterman's Full Tilt (Simon & Schuster, 2003/VOYA October 2003) will find this book thrilling.
School Library Journal

Gr 5-9

Charlie Fletcher's sequel (2008) to Stoneheart (2007, both Hyperion) is another fast-paced saga of warring statues in an alternate London. George, 13, and his sidekick Edie, with the help of the statue, The Gunner, fight to establish peace among the warring statues and the humans. The evil Walker kidnaps The Gunner and imprisons him under the city, where he has buried the bodies of several girls and women from whom he has stolen heart stones. The Gunner must fight his way to the surface and return to his plinth before midnight or suffer death as a statue. Meanwhile, George must fight and win three "duels" or die. While all this is transpiring, Edie is captured by The Walker and is forced to "glint" or see the past for him. Actor Jim Dale does a fabulous job of narrating the story, giving it an immediacy that is arresting. He seamlessly slips between characters' voices, giving each one a unique persona. Suspenseful music opens and closes the story, adding a nice touch to an extremely well-done performance. Listeners will be able to more fully understand the action taking place in this volume after reading/listening to the first book. A fine purchase, especially for libraries that circulate the print version.-Kathy Miller, Baldwin Junior High School, Baldwin City, KS

Kirkus Reviews
This series opener has appealing motifs but is tedious and longer than necessary. Twelve-year-old George gets in trouble on a museum field trip, stalks outside and angrily swings at a small stone carving. Shockingly, the dragon's head comes off in his hand. From that moment on, stone creatures are after him. A stone pterodactyl slides off the building and gives chase; as George races madly away, three stone salamanders join the pursuit. A statue of a Gunner from the Great War steps in and blasts the creatures to bits, but the respite is temporary. George has upset a balance he doesn't understand. His quest to put things right is aided by the Gunner and also by Edie, a girl of George's age who channels the past. They move through London, fighting desperately and seeking explanations from sphinxes and statues. Fletcher's action sequences are disappointingly dry. More intriguing are his philosophies about stone and "makers" (builders), and the protagonists' family histories, but these are too sparse, leaving the whole unsatisfying. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Product Details

Publication date:
Stoneheart Trilogy Series, #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Charlie Fletcher has written for television, film and as a newspaper columnist. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife, two children, and a terrier called Archie. This is his first book for young readers.

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Stoneheart 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 73 reviews.
SilentRanger More than 1 year ago
Review of the Book Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher Have you ever tried to fix something but something else prevented you from fixing it? Well, that happened to the main character in the book Stoneheart. His name was George Chapman and his life was normal in a big house at London. As soon as the rich boy broke a dragon gargoyle's head everything changed, his life, his friends, and most importantly, his sight. After he broke the head he saw gargoyles and other statues made out of rock, metal, gold, and many more. Soon he was running with a statue called the Gunner and the Gunner told George to find the Black Friar. Will he find it or not.. Stoneheart is an exciting and a book that you just can't put down! This story is very adventurous and is a great book for adventure lovers, curious people, and people who love thrilling books. This whole book is good for schools because you can make lots of predictions. I recommend this book to people because this fantasy book proves that even fantasy can be fantastic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher is a fast pace adventure. It is a book filled with action. The book is for someone who enjoys action, adventure and the unexpected. It is about a boy named George, who breaks a stone carving in anger. Then suddenly finds himself in a world of bronze men walking around and gargoyles chasing after him. He is not the only one to see this other world. Edie and others who were cursed by the stone can also see this world. In order to escape he must make amends for his troubles. The book has a unique style of writing. At first the story happens fast, one thing after another, then the action starts to slow and it becomes easier to read. The book has many conflicts that become exposed after the pace starts to slow. The characters in the book are mostly human. They are confused by all the information being thrown at them. The author does such a great job in his writing that it makes the book thrilling. The book continues to add more and more plot twists and information. The way he writes it makes it easy to read. This book will keep you wanting to read to the end to find out if George and the others make it back to their world.
dakotadj More than 1 year ago
Browsing the store, I came across this first book in a series. The cover attracted me. I loved its great character description and the draw to keep on reading clear to the end. The tween world is a fascinating idea. I am anxious to gest a copy of the next book in the trilogy. I highly recommend this story.
brightmyer More than 1 year ago
"On a school trip to the Natural History Museum in London, a 12-year-old loner named George is banished for something he didn't do. Angry, he lashes out and breaks off a dragon's head carved onto the wall of the museum. Next thing he knows, a pterodactyl carving comes to life and begins to chase him." And so begins George's adventures in "unLondon." He is soon chased by many fanciful creatures come alive from stone statues. He first encounters Gunner, a statue of a World War I soldier, who helps to save the boy from the pterodactyl. The pair soon meet up with Edie, a "glint" with the power to see the past. In order for George to go back to the London he knows, the London where stone statues don't come to life, he must return the broken dragon's head to the Stone Heart. Gunner and Edie, plus a cast of other characters, help George in achieving his objective. In the beginning of the book, George is feeling sorry for himself because his father is dead and his mother barely has time for him. Edie is portrayed as a cold-hearted survivor who has always looked after herself. But during the course of their adventures through the unusual streets of London, their characters start to evolve. Some of the other interesting characters from the book are the Sphinxes who only give answers in riddles, the Clocker who continually marks the time, the Black Friar who tells them where the Stone Heart is, the Walker who is pure evil incarnate and the Minotaur who is part bull, part human and all bad. We also get glimpses of dragons and gargoyles. Fletcher has turned a collection of the actual statues around London into an astonishing assortment of personalities and monsters. Although marketed to children and young adults, I don't think I would recommend this for younger children mainly because of some of the scary and dangerous situations George and Edie encounter, but I highly recommend it for older children and teenagers, as well as adults like me who love young adult books. This is the first book in the Stoneheart Trilogy and as soon as I put the last period on this post, I'm ready to start Ironhand, the next book in the series. The final book is entitled Silvertongue. Charlie Fletcher is a British author and screenwriter. Stoneheart was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award in 2007. There is a movie in development for release in 2010.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I literally had no idea what was going on the entire time. Very poorly described settings and forgetful characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jadn More than 1 year ago
This story would make a fantastical film. Sadly, it is written in that manner, making it really hard to follow the story in book format.  The imagination of the author is fantastical, and this book is definitely refreshing and out of the box thinking. George finds himself swept up into another London, where all the rules he thought existed are turned upside down, and statues come to life. But not all statues are good, there are the spits who are human like and overall good, but then there are also taints that are gargoyles who are collectively seeking to destroy George. The story is filled with a lot of action, and unexpected twists that keeps the reader always wondering what is going to happen next. Or at least... what kind of trouble is George going to get into now.  The big criticism that I have about this first book is the Point of View (POV) problem that many first time authors face.  Throughout the book, the author is constantly jumping between characters. The reader gets snapshots of what are happening in the minds of all the characters at the same time. Which if this was a movie, it would work to constantly focus on different people, but in written format make it utterly confusing. However, this has not deterred me from reading the rest of the series, and the author does a much better job at keeping this to a minimum and eliminating this problem, in subsequent series of this book.  If you can splodge through this first one, the second one is much better. As for family friendliness, it rates a 5 out of 5, because this is a book about kids for kids to learn about the choices we make and the consequences that come from those choices whether good or bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wnted to like this book but found it haed to
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is totally EPIC!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is by far one of the best i've ever read and i dontnlikenreading that much. I thinkvthis is angreat book for anyone
cindylb More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally love this book I just started and I love it!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally think that this book is te best you can get. I just started today and I already have this book on my Nook!!!
Mintheart More than 1 year ago
I randomly picked this book up and after having it for a while I finally picked it up to read. Its hard for me to not like a book,I can normally pick up any kind of book and love it, but this one didn't really catch me. Its kinda boring. I enjoy the storyline and I like the idea of statues coming to life. Overall this book had it ups and downs and plenty of confusing parts. I probably will not read the rest of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Stoneheart" is one of the best books I've read and listened to this year. Charlie Fletcher has written an inventive page-turner and Jim Dale, one of the finest audio book readers, adds his usual flair to his reading. Even though this is considered a book for middle-grade readers, I have recommended this book to a number of adults who have enjoyed it as much as I.
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