They call him “the Indian” at his new school, or sometimes “the Hermit” or “Geronimo”—that is, when they acknowledge him at all. Jeremy Stone doesn’t have many friends and is really just trying to sort out who he is and who he wants to be. Then he meets Caitlin, who says she wants to protect him. He soon recognizes her fragility, however, and he turns to the spirit of his dead grandfather for advice on how to help her. As various friends from his spirit world help guide him through the events of his day-to-day life, Jeremy is faced with timeless questions about the nature of truth and reality.
Author Lesley Choyce has crafted a thoughtful, exquisite and intriguing tale. Many teens will identify or empathize with Jeremy Stone, an outsider and a loner. Choyce also touches on major issues such as depression, suicide and bullying in ways that are neither overwhelming nor didactic. The verse novel format perfectly captures Jeremy’s voice, and suits the nature of the story. The language is spare and carefully crafted. This is a novel that should appeal to a wide range of readers and could lead to interesting classroom discussions.
by Lesley Choyce
$12.95, paperback, 174 pp.
Red Deer Press, November 2013