The Crying Rocks-Janet Taylor Lisle

  • Title: The Crying Rocks
  • Author: Janet Taylor Lisle
  • Released: 2004-02-02
  • Language:
  • Pages: 273
  • ISBN: 0786261404
  • ISBN13: 978-0786261406
  • ASIN: 0786261404


From School Library Journal Grade 5-7-Lisle returns to Rhode Island in this beautifully crafted story of 13-year-old Joelle and her search for her origins. Aunt Mary Louise often tells the teen how she was found by the railroad tracks when she was five years old and adopted by Mary Louise and her husband, Vernon. This account, which changes from time to time, seems to confuse rather than enlighten Joelle about her past. One day Carlos, a classmate, tells her that she looks like the local Narragansett Indians in an old painting in the public library. The sense of connection Joelle feels with one of the figures in it starts her on her quest in earnest. When she and Carlos visit the mysterious "crying rocks," they hear an eerie crying, and Carlos is reminded of his brother's death through a climbing accident. Lisle resolves the mystery surrounding Joelle's origins deftly and believably, and a series of events that seemed horrific and abusive comes into focus as something quite different. Carlos, too, resolves the mystery of his role in his brother's death. However, the "crying rocks" remain mysterious to the end, as they echo and provide counterpoint to the theme of love between parents and children, and the complexity of the bond between them. Joelle is a well-developed character, feisty and full of bravado, which belies her vulnerability. The use of the present tense gives the narrative a sense of immediacy. The issues of ethnic identity and heritage are dealt with in a multidimensional and complex way. This lovely portrait of a strong girl facing her past and present with dignity and courage will receive a wide and enthusiastic readership.
Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Gr. 6-9. Thirteen-year-old Joelle's background is a mosaic of half-truths, odd bits of information, and startling stories. Her mother threw her out a window in Chicago; she traveled by freight train to the East Coast, and at the age of five, she lived with a loony old woman. Then "Aunt" Mary Louise and her husband adopted her. Never comfortable with herself, Joelle isn't sure she wants to be friends with classmate Carlos; however, as they research an area Indian tribe, the Narragansett, they grow close, especially after Joelle begins to experience odd sensations. For one thing, she resembles the Indians, and when she and Carlos go into a forest, the cries she hears, supposedly Indian women and children, affect her deeply. After Mary Louise dies, Joelle's complicated birth story emerges. Lisle is quite ambitious, walking a tightrope between the supernatural and reality and teasing with myriad clues about Joelle's identity. Many readers will return to the book to see if everything "fits." It does, mostly--though a suspension of belief here and there may be required. A reread will still be a pleasure because Lisle's fluidly written story fascinates. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. pdf
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