The Stone Boys

Latah Bks. Nov. 2019. 210p. pap. $16.75. ISBN 9780999707579.
Gr 10 Up–In Durango, CO, during the summer of 1975, two boys, Dave McConnell and Ben Brickman, become friends when each finds out the other has been sexually abused. The two boys devise and execute a plan to punish the bully who has been harassing Dave. After holding the bully at gunpoint and humiliating him, Ben questions Dave’s motives—some of Dave’s actions made Ben uncomfortable. While Ben wrestles with his conscience, Dave does not seem fazed by what they did. As Ben discovers more about Dave, he realizes this incident is more than he can handle. But when Ben confesses his and Dave’s traumas, and their actions, to adults, he finds that his burden is lighter. In his struggle to heal and to help Dave do the same, Ben discovers that sexual abuse can lead to a survivor emulating the abuse. While casually mentioning the religious and cultural differences of characters, the author makes the not-so-casual point that sexual abuse happens everywhere; it knows no race, religion, or culture. Although the trauma is gripping, Dave and Ben are fairly two-dimensional characters. Their friendship seems a bit rushed as they both divulge huge secrets after knowing each other just a few weeks. It is as if the trauma itself is the main character of this story, and Ben and Dave are secondary.
VERDICT An example of gritty realism. Recommended for mature students.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing