Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher

 

FantasyTween

Stoneheart (The Stoneheart Trilogy) StoneheartCharlie Fletcher; Hyperion 2008WorldCatGeorge is with his class at the Natural History Museum in London on a field trip. He and the teacher are at odds so when a display is knocked over George is blamed. He’s not allowed to continue the tour. Instead of waiting he leaves the building and in a fit of temper knocks a piece off the building. George’s life changes that fast.

The statuary on the building starts moving. George sees a stone pterodactyl climbing down the outside of the building towards him. Then stone gargoyles start chasing him. George runs off, trying to protect himself from the odd, dangerous attackers. He finally meets the Gunner. Gunner is a living bronze statue of a World War I gunner. He and George escape a cat gargoyle. Gunner starts teaching George about the living statues. The ones who are people or realistic and have a bit of their makers’ souls built in them are squints. The fantastical, unreal ones are taints. There is an uneasy truce between the squints and taints at the moment.

Edie sees George with a live statue. She realizes there is someone else who can see the statues when they come to life. She chases after them. Gunner recognizes her as a glint. A glint is trouble in his opinion so tries to leave her behind. Gunner tries to help George get back to his normal life. Edie has a special piece of glass that glows when taints are near, making her helpful as well.

When Gunner is hurt, Edie and George have to work together. George has to get to the City in London to the Black Friar to find out what he needs to do to get back to his life. That means getting by the dragons that guard the city. The only place safe is along the river. Taints don’t like water.

I listened to this book. The narrator is Jim Dale, the reader of the Harry Potter novels. Between the boy with a bad family life, the setting of London, and Jim Dale’s voice, I couldn’t avoid the Harry Potter comparisons. But Stoneheart is a different story. The basics are the same; the actions aren’t.

Charlie Fletcher has brought statues to life. How many kids have imagined a statue will come off its stand? I like the way he gives the statues their personalities both good and bad. Yet they have to stay true to their statue natures as well. If it rains, a gargoyle has to return to it’s roof to be a downspout. Gunner can’t miss when he shoots at something.

Stoneheart should capture the imaginations of the older child, bringing him or her to a new look at the parks around them. It’s an enjoyable story that entertains. Stoneheart is not strong yet keeps the reader’s interest. There’s a trilogy, so the reader can look forward to more books about George and Edie.

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