Summary: Muriel and Ollie Jorgensen and Emma and Frank Norman have lived across the river from each other on neighboring Michigan farms as long as any can remember. World War I hits and sends these four teens into a world of trouble and onto paths they never expected.
Thoughts: Helen Frost’s free verse novels are truly remarkable. I am in awe of the way she eloquently weaves fully-developed characters and stories through her exquisite, crisp poetry. In Crossing Stones she uses different poetic forms. The words of lively, spunky Muriel are conveyed in free-form poems that flow across the page like a bubbling river; the budding romance of Emma and Ollie is chronicled in round, “cupped-hand” sonnets that emulate the stones within the river. Together these poems explore the uncertainty and devastation of war for those that enlist and those who stay behind. The story also explores the women’s suffrage movement as well as the timeless themes of love, loss, heartache, family bonds, and hope. If you enjoy novels told through verse, historical fiction, or simply admire beautifully-crafted writing, read Crossing Stones.