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The White Stone in the Castle Wall by…

The White Stone in the Castle Wall (edition 1996)

by Sheldon Oberman, Les Tait (Illustrator)

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Title:The White Stone in the Castle Wall
Authors:Sheldon Oberman
Other authors:Les Tait (Illustrator)
Info:Tundra Books (1996), Paperback, 24 pages
Collections:Your library

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White Stone in the Castle Wall by Sheldon Oberman



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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 |
John Tommy Fiddich has a garden and then a hail storm comes and destroys it. The only thing left is a dull gray stone. Sir Henry M. Pellatt has called for all dull stones to be brought to his castle and he will pay a silver dollar for them. John travels this whole way by himself, hauling the heavy rock through the rain and not noticing it turned bright white. When he reached the castle he waited his turn and was then told no one would buy it. He sat in the garden sad by this and told the gardener he could have the stone because no one else wanted it but since he hauled it, it meant so much to him. The gardener was really Sir Henry M. Pellatt who bought John's stone and gave him a job in his garden.

Personal Reaction:
I think it is a good book and a good story. It can teach children that persistence pays off. I think the illustrations helped tell the story.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Children can paint their own rocks and build a "wall"
2. Teach a lesson in never giving up. ( )
  SarahClick | Mar 6, 2012 |
John Tommy Fiddich has a garden full of vegetables that he plans to sale for a silver dollar until it hails and beats all his vegetables down. After the hail storm insects come in and eat everything up and then the wind blows what is left away. He is then left with nothing but dirt and a big rock, which he finds useless at first. He finds out that Sir Henry M. Pellat is building a wall and wants dull stones and is offering a silver dollar for them. He gets the stone out of the ground and halls it to where the wall is being built. He has to work much harder than everyone else to get the stone there. Along the way it starts raining and cleans the stone and leaves it shiny. He is turned away and told that it is worthless because they are only looking for dull stones. He rests in a garden of the castle and begins speaking to man. He tells him about his garden, the stone, and all his hardwork to get it there. The man happened to be Sir Henry M. Pellat and wants the stone because of all his hardwork. He pays him the silver dollar and gives him a job to work in his garden and pays him well.

I enjoyed this story and was so happy at the end when everything worked out for John.

I think that this book could be used in the classroom in a lesson about hard work and how it does pay off. I think that you could also use in a lesson about going through hard times. You could use it to get the message across that if you just keep going and keep working through it, everything will work out in the end. You could also use it to teach students that everything and everyone has worth and value.
  BrittanyLynn | Oct 20, 2010 |
The White Stone in the Castle Wall is a great book about a little boy who had it all and then lost it all except the white stone, which he thought was worthless to him. After he carried the stone through the rain and he pulled it and waited for hours he then found out it was worthless. But to him it was not worth less and he ended up with everything again.

I really liked this story. I liked how it showed hard work, courage and it showed how something you think is worthless is actually worth a lot to you. I can relate to this because I have a lot of stuffed animals and dolls from when I was younger and even though my mom thinks they are JUST stuffed animals and dolls and that I should get rid of them, to me they are memories and each one of those stuffed animals and dolls mean something different to me.

I would use this in a classroom to show students how to appreciate the things they have and to know that it has some value to them, whether they know it or not.
  ptroche | Oct 20, 2010 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:38 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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Tundra Books

An edition of this book was published by Tundra Books.

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