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The White Stone in the Castle Wall
     

The White Stone in the Castle Wall

by Sheldon Oberman, Les Tait (Illustrator)
 

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It may not be true but it could be – this story of how a single white stone came to be in the wall surrounding Casa Loma, the magnificient medieval castle that stands in the middle of Toronto.

John Tommy Fiddich lives in Yorkville, tends the family vegetable patch, and considers himself the “luckiest boy in town.” When a hailstorm wipes out the

Overview

It may not be true but it could be – this story of how a single white stone came to be in the wall surrounding Casa Loma, the magnificient medieval castle that stands in the middle of Toronto.

John Tommy Fiddich lives in Yorkville, tends the family vegetable patch, and considers himself the “luckiest boy in town.” When a hailstorm wipes out the vegetables, he goes from being the luckiest to the unluckiest. Then word gets out that Henry Pellatt, the eccentric millionaire who brought light to the city and built Casa Loma, is offering one dollar for brown stones to place in the wall going up around the castle. After trudging through the city all day with his stone, John reaches the castle only to find that rain has washed it white. But Henry Pellatt accepts the stone for his wall, rewarding John for his hard work, making him again “the luckiest boy in town.”

The trip through the streets of Toronto, from Yorkville to Casa Loma, makes for a book as enchanting to young and old as the fabulous castle that inspired it.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a very satisfying work of historical fiction for the young.”
Globe and Mail

“A wonderful story about a young boy…and hard work…A Toronto story that is quite universal in its appeal.”
–CBC Morningside

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Speculation as to how a singular white stone came to be among the 250,000 dull-colored ones in the wall surrounding Toronto's Casa Loma prompted the telling of this story. Built over 80 years ago by industrialist Sir Henry Pellatt, the medieval-style castle is surrounded by an immense wall made of stones purchased from poor citizens of Toronto. The saga of John Tommy Fiddich, a lucky boy who offers Pellatt a white stone representing hours of hard labor, is told in short, static phrases. Far better than the narration are the full-page watercolor paintings that depict the poverty of the shantytown beneath the castle, which contrasts with the splendor of its gardens and magnificent construction. A book that's of limited interest, except possibly to collectors of Toronto history.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887763861
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
09/28/1996
Pages:
24
Product dimensions:
9.01(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

As an award-winning writer, teacher, performer, playwright, and filmmaker, Sheldon Oberman was a dynamo of creative activity. An educator for more than twenty years, he was a member of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild; the Manitoba Association of Playwrights; the Winnipeg Film Group; the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators; the Canadian Society for Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers; and the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada. Sheldon is the author of the many critically-acclaimed books, including The Always Prayer Shawl, By the Hanukkah Light, TV Sal and the Game Show from Outer Space, and The Lion and the Lake: A French English Alphabet Book, which won the International Silver Medal from the Leipsig Book Fair. Sheldon’s fascination with the single white stone in the wall around historic Casa Loma in Toronto led to his wonderful children’s book, The White Stone in the Castle Wall. This book was a finalist for the Ruth Schwartz Children’s Literature Award, the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award. The father of three children, Sheldon lived for many years in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He traveled throughout Canada and the United States as a storyteller and a speaker for schools, communities, and conferences.

Sheldon Oberman died in March, 2004.

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