By John Reynolds Gardiner (1980)
Read to Them is proud to present the modern little classic, Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner.
It’s been just over 30 years now, but Stone Fox remains a cult favorite of reading teachers, librarians, and book store owners. It’s a simple, little tale that moves and reads quickly yet also moves hearts.
We’re recommending Stone Fox for schools that want to start their families off easy with a short (80+ pages), digestible title that will both build confidence in families’ ability to read together – and also generate excitement and enthusiasm to read your next title.
Stone Fox tells the story of a young boy living alone in a small, rural town in Wyoming. It may be an old premise – the grandfather is sick – but the story of Willy’s effort to save his grandfather via dogsled race generates interest and excitement every time.
The setting is small town, agricultural, bucolic – Willy knows his way around farm chores. But when the mysterious, dour, laconic master dog-sledder, Stone Fox – a Shoshone Native American – enters the picture, every child listening becomes invested in the results of the dogsled race.
Children routinely jump out of their seats insisting you finish reading instead of waiting for tomorrow night’s chapter. When that happens – you know you’re ready for the next book.
You can be assured John Reynolds Gardiner has powerful, memorable sage lessons in store by the time the race – and the story – are over.
If you’re looking for a simple, safe, rewarding entrée book – read Stone Fox and get your students ready for the next one.