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Young Adult Fiction Prejudice & Racism

Jeremy Stone

by (author) Lesley Choyce

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2013
Prejudice & Racism, Novels in Verse, Bullying, Suicide
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2013
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 14 to 18
  • Grade: 9 to 12


2014 Governor General's Literary Awards finalist

Jeremy Stone, the new young adult novel from acclaimed author Lesley Choyce, is told in free verse format. After moving from a residential school to a new school in a new community, Jeremy, a First Nations teenage boy is trying to find out where he fits in the world. He soon meets Caitlan, an intense girl who tells him about another boy — a boyfriend of hers — who has committed suicide. Jeremy isn't sure whether he has much to offer Caitlan, given his own uncertainties, but he is solid and supportive towards his new friend.
A lot of the support comes from Old Man, the spirit of Jeremy's dead grandfather, with whom he has frequent illuminating conversations. In fact, Jeremy has frequent contact with the spirit world — his grandfather, Jenson, the suicide, as well as a childhood friend of Jeremy's, Jimmy Falcon. Each of these spirits help Jeremy find his way through a quagmire of bullying and racial taunts toward a more stable future. In the end, Jeremy asserts himself by summoning his father who has gone to work in the oil patch but who his son wants to return home.

About the author

No one has a clearer view of Atlantic Canada's literary endeavours over the past twenty years than Lesley Choyce. He is the founder of the literary journal Pottersfield Portfolio, and the publisher of Pottersfield Press. He has edited several fiction anthologies and has been the in-house editor of many books from Pottersfield Press including Making Waves, a collection of stories by emerging authors from Atlantic Canada. He is the author of more than fifty books in genres ranging from poetry and essays to autobiography, history and fiction for adults, young adults, and children. Among his recent books are the novels The Republic of Nothing, World Enough, and Cold Clear Morning, and the story collection Dance the Rocks Ashore. Choyce is the writer, host, and co-producer of the popular literary show television program, Off the Page with Lesley Choyce, which is broadcast across the country on Vision TV. He also teaches in the English department of Dalhousie University in Halifax and is leader of the rock band The Surf Poets.

Lesley Choyce's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Although written in free verse, this book is totally accessible, even by struggling readers. "Chapters", or pieces of poetry, are short and easily understood. The structure and the images are often amusing... In an excellent, thought-provoking interview at the end of the book, Choyce recalls the dangers of assuming a first person aboriginal voice. He needn't have worried. The theme of becoming a spiritual warrior in life, becoming strong and yet forgiving, persistent and hopeful, rings loud and clear. Nothing about Jeremy's life is sugarcoated. It's not an easy ride. But with the help of his grandfather's belief system Jeremy slowly moves forward, lightening the load for himself and for everyone else.
This wonderful book would be a good fit for any Aboriginal study unit and should be in every high school library.
Highly Recommended."
CM Magazine

"Choyce's novel traverses the difficult landscapes of identity, depression, violence, parental struggles, substance abuse, bullying, cutting and suicide with the brilliant accessibility of free verse, which may have particular appeal to reluctant readers. Jeremy's shamanlike gift to navigate between real and spirit worlds leads him to conclude that 'What is real to us / is what we believe is real'."
Kirkus Reviews

"Jeremy Stone: A Novel is an unusual young adult novel told entirely in accessible free verse. The story follows Native American teenager Jeremy Stone, who has a difficult time adjusting to his new school. Bullied and taunted with racial epithets, Jeremy just wants to chisel out a solid future, but then he meets Caitlan, an inexplicably fascinating young woman with a mysterious boyfriend. Jeremy's connections to the spirit world - including a wise yet long dead storyteller known simply as "Old Man" - becomes just a perilously critical as his connections to the real world, in this coming-of-age story about navigating treachery, deceit, confusion, and challenge. Highly recommended."
Midwest Book Review

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