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 Na
2014 Governor General's Literary Awards finalist
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. In the end, Jeremy asserts himself by summoning his father who has gone to work in the oil patch but who his son wants to return home.
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.
"Although written in free verse, this book is totally accessible, even by struggling readers. "Chapters", or pieces of poetry, are short and easily understood. The structure and the images are often amusing... In an excellent, thought-provoking interview at the end of the book, Choyce recalls the dangers of assuming a first person aboriginal voice. He needn't have worried. The theme of becoming a spiritual warrior in life, becoming strong and yet forgiving, persistent and hopeful, rings loud and clear. Nothing about Jeremy's life is sugarcoated. It's not an easy ride. But with the help of his grandfather's belief system Jeremy slowly moves forward, lightening the load for himself and for everyone else. This wonderful book would be a good fit for any Aboriginal study unit and should be in every high school library. Highly Recommended." — CM Magazine
"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'." — Kirkus Reviews
"Jeremy Stone: A Novel is an unusual young adult novel told entirely in accessible free verse. The story follows Native American teenager Jeremy Stone, who has a difficult time adjusting to his new school. Bullied and taunted with racial epithets, Jeremy just wants to chisel out a solid future, but then he meets Caitlan, an inexplicably fascinating young woman with a mysterious boyfriend. Jeremy's connections to the spirit world - including a wise yet long dead storyteller known simply as "Old Man" - becomes just a perilously critical as his connections to the real world, in this coming-of-age story about navigating treachery, deceit, confusion, and challenge. Highly recommended." — Midwest Book Review