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The Stone Child

The Stone Child

4.6 71
by Dan Poblocki

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What if the monsters from your favorite horror books were real?

Eddie Fennicks has always been a loner, content to lose himself in a mystery novel by his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead. That's why moving to the small town of Gatesweed becomes a dream come true when Eddie discovers that Olmstead lived there before mysteriously disappearing thirteen


What if the monsters from your favorite horror books were real?

Eddie Fennicks has always been a loner, content to lose himself in a mystery novel by his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead. That's why moving to the small town of Gatesweed becomes a dream come true when Eddie discovers that Olmstead lived there before mysteriously disappearing thirteen years ago. Even better, Eddie finds a handwritten, never-before-seen Nathaniel Olmstead book printed in code and befriends Harris, who's as much an Olmsteady as he is. But then the frightening creatures of Olmstead's books begin to show up in real life, and Eddie's dream turns into a nightmare. Eddie, Harris, and their new friend, Maggie, must break Olmstead's code, banish all gremlins and monster lake-dogs from the town of Gatesweed, and solve the mystery of the missing author, all before Eddie's mom finishes writing her own tale of terror and brings to life the scariest creature of all.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Hilary Crew
Twelve-year-old Eddie and his family are driving to their new home in Gatesweed when their car hits a monster-like animal in the road near the home of Nathaniel Olmstead, writer of Eddie's favorite books about the supernatural. Olmstead has been missing for thirteen years and is blamed for the curse that causes mysterious happenings in the town. Eddie's mother gives him a book, The Enigmatic Manuscript, written by Olmstead in code, which she had found at an antique fair. Thus begins Eddie's determination to crack the code and find out what happened to Olmstead. Meanwhile Eddie is living in an increasingly nightmarish world in which he and his new friends are chased by monsters and haunted by the foreboding figure of a woman in black. Poblocki builds upon the myth of Lilith, Adam's first wife, associated with the darkness of the world to which she is banished. The statue of a stone child near Olmstead's property is a gate between the real world and the world from which the monsters associated with Lilith emerge. There are stories within stories (all in longhand) as the friends search for clues from Olmstead's novels and from the book discovered in Olmstead's house in which he had written down how he obtained the pendant—a key to the gate. The novel, packed with encounters with supernatural beings, has little depth and deals superficially with the mythical material. It might appeal to younger teens who enjoy reading about the supernatural in a gothic style mystery story. Reviewer: Hilary Crew
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Have you ever been fascinated by books? Eddie Fennicks is mesmerized by the work of mystery writer, Nathaniel Olmstead. When Eddie moves to Gatesweed, he cannot wait to meet Mr. Olmstead in person. Unfortunately, Nathaniel Olmstead disappeared under suspicious circumstances thirteen years ago; no one has seen or heard from the writer since. Eddie is determined to find the truth behind the legend; the boy explores inside Olmstead's home and discovers handwritten notepads. Did Nathaniel Olmstead write these notes himself? Can Eddie break the code? Soon Eddie begins to meet the creatures of Olmstead's books in real life. It is a terrifying experience for the twelve year old boy, who cannot believe his luck at being able to "live" the mysteries of Nathaniel Olmstead, but when Eddie meets up with a scary gremlin and hears about "The Woman in Black," the boy realizes the game has gone too far. As the story unravels, Eddie is caught in the middle of a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Will he survive this adventure, or will Eddie succumb to the creatures of the Dark Side? Young adults will enjoy this suspenseful debut novel by Dan Poblocki. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Eddie, 12, is excited to be moving to Gatesweed, since his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead, lived there before he disappeared 13 years earlier. But it soon becomes evident that not everyone in Gatesweed is an "Olmsteady." Was the man responsible for all the tragic things that happened there? Eddie discovers what looks like a never-published Olmstead book written in code. His attempts to decipher it lead him to his first real friendships, with schoolmates Harris and Maggie, and escalating encounters with strange and frightening phenomena. Will the three kids be able to translate the manuscript and figure out what happened to Olmstead before the fabric of the universe is destroyed and the Woman in Black is freed to create havoc forever? Think John Bellairs, with a touch of R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike, and then add in a liberal sprinkling of Judeo-Christian mythology involving the Garden of Eden and its first inhabitants. The creep factor is high but not graphic, and the kids act and react like real kids. The adults (with the exception of Olmstead) play small but believable roles. Two minor quibbles—the cover art represents an important plot point, but isn't going to do much to sell the story, and the font used for the "handwritten" portions of the book is difficult to read. Still, this briskly paced novel is sure to be popular with fans of scary stuff.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Eddie Fennicks is new to Gatesweed, Mass., when he discovers it's the home of Nathaniel Olmstead, his favorite writer. But the author has disappeared, creatures from his novels have come alive, children have gone missing and there have even been unexplained deaths. When Eddie's mother finds The Enigmatic Manuscript, a book written in code by Olmstead, at an antiques fair, Eddie and his new friends Harris and Maggie work to break that code and solve the mystery. The third-person narrative voice suits the breadth of the tale, which ranges from Gatesweed to Dracula's Romania and the Garden of Eden. Though the novel misses a chance for philosophical weight, it succeeds admirably in its intricate plotting, weaving together long excerpts from Olmstead's books, exciting face-offs with monsters and the efforts of the three young protagonists to decode the text and act in time to save the world. Fans of John Bellairs will enjoy this fine debut. (Fantasy. 9-14)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Beginning in fifth grade, Dan Poblocki would gather his friends after school, frightening them with tales of ghosts, monsters, and spooky places. When his mother began to receive phone calls from neighborhood parents, warning that her son’s stories were giving their children nightmares, Dan decided to write the stories down instead. Dan now battles his own neighborhood monsters in Brooklyn, New York. Visit him at www.danpoblocki.com.

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The Stone Child 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I am even more convinced it does not matter what age you are (as long as you are old enough) to thoroughly enjoy this book...actually "thoroughly enjoy" is not strong enough, more like fantastcially fun! It's both thrilling and funny - it will give you goose bumps and make you laugh. Every character gives you something to relate to. One of the best things about the book is the twisting and turning of the plot with tons of surprises! I read the book straight through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I literally couldn't put this thriller down. The plot mixes a young man's passion for his favorite author's work, the mysterious disappearance of that author, strange creatures that come to life out of the pages of the author's work and the inquisitive minds of three friends. There are many twists and turns along with surprises at almost every page. This book is a great reading tool and reminiscent of the John Bellairs Mysteries.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the fact that they combine real life with the book. I feel I can relate to one of the characters in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was apsulutaly amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is agreat book that keep you reading and wondering is the woman in black coming back or did eddie and his friends realy close the gate for good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a great mystry book for kids. I suggest it for kids ages 8 and up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book . Perfect if you love thrill and suspence . Will keep you asking questions :) Gave me goosebumps when reading this novel . A very good book :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was really suspensful, the author really knew when to put in the twists and he really came up with good scary stuff and the end transitions to make you want to read book 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought The Stone Child was a very enjoyable book that became very creepy at times. The character’s personalities went very well with the book. Also, Gatesweed sounded like the perfect town for this story to take place. I would recommend this book to anyone that can handle very creepy and suspenseful stories and is old enough to realize that the events that take place in this book could never really happen. At some points I didn’t understand what was going on, but overall this is a very good novel that is very enjoyable and hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
7 words Tence,scary,and amazing best book ever! I lovend becca! And i lve this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, it was amazing. I had seen my friend read it at school so I decided to read it too. The suspense in this book kept me interested for hours. I have had fantasies all day about this book. Truly wonderful, a must read for everyone.
Gillian Colwell More than 1 year ago
Stone child is a very mysterious exciting! There is really no other book like it. Its awesome. I highly recomend it!
23Liz More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The suspense, the action, the terror. I'm ten and this was for a book report so my teacher wrote on my paper tha is was too scary for my age group. I loved it. The woman in black was very scary and after i read it, it was hard to sleep. Amazing story though.
Bookreviewer74 More than 1 year ago
I liked this book a lot. Eddie just moved to Gatesweed the hometown of his favoraite author, Nathaniel Osborne. BUt as he explores the town and finds a book by Nathaniel Osborne written in code, he and his two friends he just met, Harris and MAggie go through the town trying to solve the code and advoid the terrible monsters from NAthanils books. THis was a great thrilling read that anyone would enjoy. As soon as I read the first sentece I got hooked to it. I just got drowned in the book. The charectars were great, the story was exciting and thrilling, there were some very exciting parts that I just couldnt stop reading. Probalay the two days I read it i didnt put it down for hours! That's how good this book is. I really hope that the author should make another book becuase this one is amazing! I would recomend it to anyone!!!
katiecanes More than 1 year ago
I loved the Stone Child! It was an exciting, whimsical tale of a young boy who is drawn into the stories of his favorite author. I was immersed in every chapter, wanting to know what would happen next, and rooting for Eddie to solve the mysteries in front of him. It was so well written and just scary enough to make me look under my bed before turning the lights off. Great first book from Dan Poblocki! I can't wait to read whatever he writes next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good exiting book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book. It gripped me from start to finish--definitely a great first book for this author, I can't wait to read more of his work. Some parts in the plot were obvious, but that is the best part of a book--when you can start yelling at the characters about what's going to happen...oh course that means the people around you will stare at you, but tough. The book itself reminded me a lot of the type I used to read when I was growing up. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good fast-paced read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love thiis book ! Recomend it for book reports and also just for a good read. My friend recomended this and at first i was like this is okay then i loved it. I couldn't put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This the best book ever and u should also read the new one the ghosts of greylock same author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far this book is amazing...very mysterious
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wonder?how good this book is?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I didn't think the story was going to be great, but I was totally captivated! I read it 3 times!