Men of Stone – Gayle Friesen

Ben is the youngest child in a family of women.  His father has died leaving the whole in the family living simultaneous but unconnected lives.  That is until Great-aunt Frieda comes to visit.  The story of Ben in Men of Stone weaves together some history of the Russian Mennonites who emigrated to Canada and a contemporary story of a boy’s coming of age.  Gayle Friesen’s writing is descriptive and the characters are complex and interesting.  Some of the the teenaged slang feels forced at first but it either gets better or as one gets enthralled with the story it ceases to matter.  The ending is slightly Hollywood but is tinged with some uncertainty.  An enjoyable read.

Thematically fits with  immigration,  new Canadians,  coming of age,  being different, friendship, family, history, Mennonites.

Men of Stone. 



Filed under children's lit, curriculum, library, literacy

2 responses to “Men of Stone – Gayle Friesen

  1. Debbie Pushor

    Personally, I love Gayle Friesen’s writing. I find it authentic and reflective of issues of identity significant to youth. In Men of Stone, I like the way Friesen moves across the generations, with Aunt Frieda’s looking backward to the struggles she has faced juxtaposed with Ben’s struggles as a modern-day youth in regard to such things as bullying, the death of his father, his non-conventional interest in dance, and the struggles a friend of his is having. I, too, find it rich and complex in plot and characterization and very engaging writing.

  2. i loved reading this book. it is not every day that I acually sit down and read a book without being able to put it down. it only took me 1.5 days to compleate this very inspiring book!!!

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