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The White Stone in the Castle Wall by…

The White Stone in the Castle Wall

by Sheldon Oberman

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A story of a young boy who lost his garden but was left with a stone. The king of the town needed stones for his wall. Johnny hauled the stone to the wall only to get rejected. He tells his story to a man in the garden who was inspired by his hardwork, he bought the stone, revealed he was the king, and then offered him a job.

I didn't really like this story, I felt it did have a good moral at the end of it though. When you put hard work into something, it becomes a part of your character and can inspire others. Hardwork is a trait that I've grown up on so this story has a relatable factor.

1.Build a garden with the class.
2.Collect rocks to either just build a wall or a wall to encompass the garden.
  MWsmith7 | Mar 26, 2015 |
Summary: A story about a boy who grew a garden, but the heavy winds and rain washed it away, the only thing left was a big white rock. A castle on the hill nearby was building a wall and was paying one silver dollar for every rock brought to the castle. Tommy worked very hard all day to get the rock up the hill, only to find out they wanted dirty colored rocks, not a big white rock. In the end the King of the castle bought his rock, plus gave him a job working in his garden.

Personal Reflection: I tell my boy scouts all the time, never give on your first attempt. The results might not be what you wanted, but the out come will be rewarding. The idea is not to give up.

Classroom Extension:
1. Have every one bring a small vegetable plant and build a garden at school, and then bring rocks or collect rocks to build a wall around it, just like in the story.

2. Write a reflection on something that they worked really hard on, but didn't turn out so well, and what they did to make it better next time.
  jerryrichardson | Mar 25, 2015 |
John Tommy Fiddich was a young boy who took pride in his family garden. His garden was full of vegetables and he considered himself the luckiest boy I the world. When a hailstorm and insects destroyed his garden, he went from being the luckiest to the unluckiest boy. He was left with nothing but a huge gray rock that would not allow anything to grow around it or under it. So when Sir Henry M. Pellatt sent out an announcement that he would give one dollar for any dull colored stone to help build a wall for his castle, John Tommy Fiddich became the luckiest boy once again. He put the rock in wheelbarrow and set off for the castle. He walked all through the city and through the rain and finally made it to the castle. However, John Tommy Fiddich did not realize that rock had been stripped of its dull gray color and was now bright white. After seeing the rock the builder denied it and he was the unluckiest boy again. While sitting in the castle's garden he offered the rock to the man working in the garden and explained to him why he was willing to give it away for free. The man introduced himself as Henry Pellatt and accepted the stone. He promised to put it in his wall and gave John Tommy Fiddich a silver dollar. Then he asked the boy to come and work in his garden. Now everyone in town considers John Tommy Fiddich the luckiest boy in the world.

I enjoyed this story because it is relatable. It showed that we have good days and bad days but they always turn around.

I would use this book to teach what historical fiction is and what to look for in the pictures and in the language used. I would also use the story to influence students to research the Casa Loma and other castles during that time period.
  JasRochelle | Mar 25, 2015 |
This is a book about how the single white stone came to be in this wall. It is about a boy who falls into misfortune when his garden is destroyed and a large rock appears in place of his garden. His luck turns around when he tries to sell it however and finds out the king wants the rock. He ends up hauling the rock all the way to the king and being told b the king's helper that the king doesn't want the rock, but just as the disappointed boy is ready to leave, the king tells him he will take it. After that the king offers the boy a job and everything worked out.

Personal Reaction:
This is a great book and the artist uses his very own artistic style throughout the pages. This book has many ups and downs and it would be a great book to read to a classroom. It would also be fun to pair it with a lesson about the wall that the book is based off of. For younger kids, you could pair it with another book such as stone stew and talk about different types of rocks and stones. You could maybe even make stone soup.

Classroom Extension:
1) We could look at the artistic style of the author and attempt to simulate our own pictures like his.
2) We could use this book to talk about how everybody's artistic styles are different. Find out our own artistic style.
3) We could paint a rock wall with only one white stone and talk about the wall that actually has that look. We could also branch off of this and talk about how each one of us is different and stands out just like that stone does.
4) We could study the history surrounding the book. Talk about the era, the country it took lace in, and what was going on in that time period there. ( )
  amandacope | Oct 10, 2013 |
John Fiddich was a young man that had a nice garden until it was destroyed leaving nothing behind but a large dull grey stone. He hears that the owner of a castle is looking for large stones to build his fence. John decides he will dig up this stone and trudge it up the mountain to the castle so that the owner of the castle can buy it from him. On the way there it begins to rain and the water washes away all of the greyness and dirt and the stone is white. The castlemen tell him that the stone is useless because of the color and that is not what the owner is looking for. He pleads with the castlemen because of all his hard work that he had done to get the stone to the castle, but they refuse to take the stone. John takes his stone and turns to leave. As he is leaving, he notices a man working in the garden and tells him that he can have the stone for his garden because he does not want to take the stone all the way back home. The man in the garden turns out to be the owner of the castle and in the end offers John a job in his garden at the castle.

My Response: I liked this book. I think it proved that hard work pays off. When everyone else told John no about the stone, I found it funny that he runs in the owner of the castle who actually like the stone and even offered John a job.

Classroom Activity #1: This book could be used in a science module. We would study different types of stones and discuss what can happen to stones in different types of weather.

Classroom Activity #2: Each of the students would be asked to bring a stone from somewhere outside of school. They would be asked why they picked that stone, and to briefly give a short story about the stone.
  MaryLCarney | Oct 23, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887763863, Paperback)

It may not be true but it could be – this story of how a single white stone came to be in the wall surrounding Casa Loma, the magnificient medieval castle that stands in the middle of Toronto.

John Tommy Fiddich lives in Yorkville, tends the family vegetable patch, and considers himself the “luckiest boy in town.” When a hailstorm wipes out the vegetables, he goes from being the luckiest to the unluckiest. Then word gets out that Henry Pellatt, the eccentric millionaire who brought light to the city and built Casa Loma, is offering one dollar for brown stones to place in the wall going up around the castle. After trudging through the city all day with his stone, John reaches the castle only to find that rain has washed it white. But Henry Pellatt accepts the stone for his wall, rewarding John for his hard work, making him again “the luckiest boy in town.”

The trip through the streets of Toronto, from Yorkville to Casa Loma, makes for a book as enchanting to young and old as the fabulous castle that inspired it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:21 -0400)

John Tommy Fiddich tries to sell a large stone to the foreman building a wall around Casa Loma, the castle owned by Sir Henry M. Pellat, in Toronto.

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