Review: Crossing Stones by Helen Frost

Author Helen Frost must be a genius.  In her new book Crossing Stones, not only has she written a beautifully sensitive portrayal of two Michigan farm families during World War I, but she has done it in a "cupped-hand sonnet" form.  This is a 14-line poem in which the first line rhymes with the last line, the second line rhymes with the second-to-last, and so on, so that the 7th and 8th lines rhyme with each other at the poem's center.  In addition, the poems themselves are arranged as "stepping stones", or as the flowing creek that separates the Norman and Jorgenson family farms.  However, this structure does not detract from the lovely language that envelops the reader and that draws the reader into this story of love, heartache, acceptance and friendship.  The book also imparts a lot of American history that is not seen in too much teen fiction - World War I and its aftermath, and the woman's suffrage movement.  Highly recommended.


Quick to read, wonderful creative style, you'll understand and empathize with the characters and get a feel for what it was like to be living in Michigan in 1917.

-Linda Myers