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Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Stone Fox (edition 1999)

by John Reynolds Gardiner, Marcia Sewall (Illustrator), John Reynolds Gardiner (Author)

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2,928421,964 (3.86)24
Title:Stone Fox
Authors:John Reynolds Gardiner (Author)
Other authors:Marcia Sewall (Illustrator), John Reynolds Gardiner (Author)
Info:Scholastic (1999), Paperback, 81 pages
Collections:Non Fiction, Chapter Books
Tags:Fox, Race, Snow

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Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner


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Little Willy lives in a farm with his grandfather and dog, Searchlight. One day his grandfather becomes ill, he is bedridden and won't talk. The doctor tells Little willy that his grandfather is healthy, but does not want to live. Little Willy discovers that his grandfather owes $500 in taxes and if it is not paid they will lose the farm. The problem is that they are broke, they don't have any money. Little Willy decides that he is going to come up with the money. He begins to harvest and sell potatoes, but that is not going to work because "potatoes barely bring in enough money to live on." Little Willy sees a poster for the National Dogsled Race, the prize money for the race is $500. He decides he is going to enter it with Searchlight. Searchlight is an old dog and the the race is going to pit them against the best dogs teams; including the Indian Stone Fox and his five Samoyeds. Stone Fox has never lost a race. Little willy must win the prize money in order to save his farm and grandfather.
I found the story to be touching and encouraging. I was not expecting the story to end the way it did, but the ending made me fall in love with the story. Stone Fox is a chapter book with a few illustrations. The illustration were key in portraying the characters and settings, but the text was powerful enough that you don't really need the illustrations.
I would use Stone Fox in a 3rd or 4th grade class as a read aloud. Some themes that can be covered are hope, helping others, overcoming obstacles, and courage.
Predictions lesson- at the end of chapter 4 (pg. 36) we find out that Little Willy's grandpa owes $500 in taxes and if he doesn't pay they will lose the farm. Have students predict what is going to happen based on what they already know. Will Little Willy come up with the $500? If so how?
  janetfuentes | Sep 8, 2016 |
A lot of tears after this one.
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
Of course I read this when I was in teacher-training, and at least one of my sons read it with his class, but I decided to see if I like it on it's own merits, as a reader with my own interests.  And I do.  Imo, it's just as exciting and moving outside the school setting as it can be inside (with the right teacher, like Horrible Harry's teacher).  Concise - lots of powerful ideas in a very short book.  Definitely not obsolete (though it is historical fiction and a few words & ideas might need to be explained). ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Stone fox is a good book. It's about a young boy and his dog. one day his grandfather doesn't really wake up so the doctor comes and she tells the boys at the grandfather is in the depression. The boy thinks that the reason for this is because the grandfather thought that it would be a bad year for growing crops, so the boy grows the crops himself, and he does it very well. But it doesn't heal his grandfather. the tax man comes and the boy figures out that the grandfather hasn't been taxes. So the boy a dog race with his dog. A Indian man named Stone fox always wins the race. the race will give the boy $500 if he wins, then he can pay the taxes and then he won't have to sell his farm. The boy one but a cost, his dog died, she was very old but very fast. I like this book because it showed a friendship between a dog and a boy. I hope a lot of people like this book because it makes you really think about that sort of stuff. ( )
  CooperW8 | Apr 27, 2016 |
Well! The sudden ending certainly got me verklempt! It seemed emotionally manipulative and the portrayal of Stone Fox the Indian is a bit touchy in this day and age. But Little Willy's Disneyesque earnestness and the compelling story action actually make it work, even though part of me feels like it shouldn't. Go figure! ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Reynolds Gardinerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sewall, MarciaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Bob at Hudson's Cafe
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One day Grandfather wouldn't get out of bed.
The idea for this story came from a Rocky Mountain legend that was told to me in 1974 by Bob Hudson over a cup of coffee at Hudson's Cafe in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Although Stone Fox and the other characters are purely fictitious and of my creation, the tragic ending to this story belongs to the legend and is reported to have actually happened. --John Reynolds Gardiner
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064401324, Paperback)

A Race Against Time

Little Willy's grandfather is sick, and it's up to Willy to save their farm from tax collectors. Their only hope is the prize money from the National Dogsled Race. But a lot of other people want to win the race, too, including Stone Fox, who has never lost a race in his life.

Do Willy and his dog Searchlight stand a chance against the toughest racers around? Can they win the race to save the farm -- and Grandfather -- before it's too late?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Little Willie hopes to pay the back taxes on his grandfather's farm with the purse from a dog sled race he enters.

(summary from another edition)

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