A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Cree language and cultural traditions are essential to the story. Descriptions of the villages and wilderness of Canada's far northern regions where the First Nations dwell are detailed and appealing.
Eli's grandfather says, "You have to understand, everybody is human first. If you're making a mistake, you're not making a mistake because you're white or because you're Cree. You're making a mistake because you're a human being. Humans make mistakes." Strong messages of family, friendship, teamwork, courage -- and creative problem solving. Respect for Indigenous traditions and culture, and understanding past and present-day wrongs in order to make things right. Even when it calls for painful sacrifice on your part.
Positive Role Models
Morgan is determined and courageous in her quest to save her brother, and to unravel her complicated relationship with her birth family. Her best friend Emily, a straight-A student and hockey star, has her back at all times. Her friend Arik, a squirrel-like animal being, is a faithful companion, a brave combatant, and an endless source of wisecracks. Eli spends much of the story in a near-death state, but his wisdom and connection with Morgan find a way to show her the right path. He's so kindhearted he mourns the death of a monster that would have killed him. His love for the wilderness and knowledge of traditional ways help define him and are essential to the story. Assorted supporting characters, human and animal, provide comfort and assistance along the way -- especially Morgan and Eli's foster parents, who may be breathtakingly (if fortunately) clueless about the magic portal in their attic, but are reliable, steady, and willing to go quite a few extra miles to help the kids and to right past wrongs.
Morgan, Eli, and their relatives are Cree, and reconnecting with their tribal culture and identity is a strong theme in the story. For much of the story, it's three female characters -- Morgan, Emily, and squirrel Arik -- who face peril and race to save Eli's life. Morgan's BFF, Emily, is White, as are Morgan and Eli's foster parents. Following a kiss on the cheek, there's a suggestion that romance may be in the future of two 13-year-old girls.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Hand-to-hand combat with villains and monsters, involving assorted weapons, especially a staff and a hatchet. A character's soul has been stolen by a Bigfoot-like monster; another species of toothy, log-like, bloodsucking creatures wreaks havoc, injures characters by sucking their blood, and ultimately devours a monster.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Morgan's BFF Emily kisses her on the cheek, and Morgan thinks there may be more than friendship in their future.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Crap," "sucks," "damn."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Tobacco is used as part of spiritual practice, given as gifts and scattered to mark sacred space.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Stone Child is the third book in David A. Robertson's Misewa Saga series, which finds two Cree foster kids in Winnipeg discovering a portal to another world -- one steeped in Indigenous tradition and inhabited by animal beings who walk upright, talk, and wear clothes. Book 3 finds 13-year-old Morgan and her new best friend Emily, along with formidable squirrel warrior Arik, in a race against time to recover her brother Eli's soul -- snatched by a Bigfoot-like monster while the kids slept -- before he dies and she loses him forever. Along the way there are pitched battles with other scary monsters that leave characters wounded and battered. Much detail about Indigenous life, historic and present-day, along with injustices of the past and present to the Native inhabitants. Morgan and Eli's foster parents are amazingly clueless about the portal in their attic, but spare no effort when it comes to taking care of the kids and connecting them with their roots. A teen girl kisses another on the cheek, and there's a suggestion that romance is in their future. Mild profanity and crude language includes "damn," "crap," and "sucks." Family, friendship, teamwork, wisdom, and belonging sustain the protagonists through much peril.
Is It Any Good?
Girl power is front and center in the latest Misewa adventure, which finds 13-year-old friends and a warrior squirrel in a desperate quest for a brother's stolen soul. If they fail, Eli, The Stone Child, whose soul's been snatched by a Bigfoot-like monster, will be lost forever, so there's a lot of urgency, a lot of action, a lot of emotion as events include satisfying reunions and heartbreaking loss. It's a lot to take in, as Morgan's BFF Emily notes: "Oh god, three days ago I was thinking about what kind of cereal I was going to have for breakfast, and now I'm following a shadow through a dead forest looking for a tree so you can release a soul from a stone."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.