First Stone

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First Stone

by Don Aker

HarperCollins | September 13, 2004 | Mass Market Paperbound

First Stone is rated 4.75 out of 5 by 8.

REEF IS AN EMBITTERED YOUNG OFFENDER, hardly able to contain his anger at the world over the death of his grandmother, the only person who had shown him any love. Seventeen-year-old Leeza is mourning the death of her older sister. A stone hurled in rage shatters both their lives and throws them together in the most unexpected way—and offers them a chance at healing.

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 300 pages, 7 × 4.75 × 0.75 in

Published: September 13, 2004

Publisher: HarperCollins

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0006392865

ISBN - 13: 9780006392866

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from true- to- life One of the strengths of this book is how Aker created a character in Reef that is so real- to- life. He captured the essence of the anger and the callousness of kids like this. However, it is because Reef is so real, that this book could be censored in some schools or school boards. If this novel was a movie, it definitely would merit an “R” rating. The constant use of foul language, the graphic images of drug use, and the character of Alex revealing the veins that he slit open in a failed suicide attempt, is without doubt adult material. If a school could get beyond the censorship issue, then this would certainly be a novel worth having in a grade 11 or 12 classroom. One of the reasons The First Stone is outstanding for grades 11 and 12 is because it deals with the controversial “Young Offenders Act”. No piece of legislation infuriates the average Canadian like this act. That’s because no piece of legislation challenges our values as Canadians as much. In our attempts to create the “just society” first envisioned by former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Canadians are confronted with our need to discipline youth (or take revenge might be a better term), versus trying to rehabilitate the offender. Aker conceptualizes this struggle in the words of the judge who sentences Reef: “despite the fact that the public is demanding stiffer punishments, I firmly believe that punishment is not the way to dissuade individuals like yourself from committing crimes such as this one. Numerous studies have shown that incarceration of young people only leads to further instances of criminal behaviour. . . . The Youth Criminal Justice Act recognizes that there is no quick fix to youth crime. It supports constructive, long- term solutions intended to foster values of respect and accountability. At the heart of the Act is the principal that criminal behaviour will result in meaningful consequences” (pp. 60- 61). The problem is that, in the view of many Canadians, the Youth Criminal Justice Act does not foster respect and accountability, nor does it result in meaningful consequences. The First Stone challenges high school students to struggle with their values and the values of Canadian society in contemplating the sentence Reef, and youth like him, receives. This novel can potentially develop higher order thinking in students, while allowing them to engage in constructive debate on how youth should be disciplined in this country. The First Stone is an outstanding novel for acquainting students with the ambiguity and complexity of Canada’s justice system.
Date published: 2008-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Morals I liked this book because I found that it taught us valuable lessons. That every action has a reaction and it doesn't take much to hurt someone or make a big mistake we'll later regret. It teaches us to have morals. I found that it sent a message out to teenagers because at this age I find that most teens think they can get away with anything and that whatever they decide to do, there won't be any consequences to their actions. The boy in this book, Reef, thinks that he can do anything without consequence until he causes a young teen to get in a car accident and almost ends her life. When he has to go to court to receive his sentencing, he thinks that all he's going to end up with is a slap on the wrist. All he did was throw one stone onto an overpass and it happened to hit a car causing a big accident with 5 different cars and severe injuries. People think that if they do something once that nothings going to happen and if it does, it won't be a big deal and because they're young they think they can get away with anything without consequence. But all it takes is just one stone. I also find that the style that the author writes this story in makes you feel what the characters are feeling. The author describes all the pain and thoughts that are going through the characters which makes us understand more of whats happening and to put us in their shoes. Overall, I recommend this book to everyone, especially teenagers who need to see things from another perspective. Not only does this novel show us what its like to be that person who is having fun believing that whatever they do they won't have any consequences, it also shows us what its like to be the victim.
Date published: 2007-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from leaves you speechles... This book left me with a lasting impression. Read when I was in grade 5, I was left speechless at the utter beauty and sorrow I felt deep down after I had turned the final page. It left such an impression that every time I had to do an assignment on one of our favourite books I chose this one. Don Aker tells the story in a way that makes you cry and smile at the same time (I suggest keeping a tissue box close at hand). The sheer irony found in this book will make you want to smack everything near you, it will make you question life and of course make you think of the big "why" and "if." This story is completely believable and heart-breaking. With a bitter-sweet ending, this novel will leave you wanting more (in a good way of course)...wondering..."what if?" Once finished you will reread the book, flipping pages to find your favourite parts and wishing that you had more to read...wishing that the book hadn't ended. Overall, this is a must read. One that will leave your heart in pieces but also a thread and needle to sew it back together again...
Date published: 2007-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome This book was great, but I agree with whoever said the ending wasn't complete. It was a really good book though!
Date published: 2006-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!! This book is one of the best it's funny and realistic and has great twists overall i would give a 6 out of 10 if i could!
Date published: 2005-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awsome Book Definatly Don Akers best book so far. An upbeat story of a youth struggling to survive living among foster parents. But with the throw of one rock his whole life did change. A page turning novel mixed with the writers own personal experiences. A MUST READ BOOK!
Date published: 2005-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First Stone This book was awesome.
Date published: 2005-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not bad This was a good reality based book, I liked it a lot, my only complaint was the ending. I dont believe it was a complete ending, which I will not give away for those who have not yet read it. Indeed it is a good book, but in my opinion one that needed an epilouge.
Date published: 2005-01-06

– More About This Product –

First Stone

First Stone

by Don Aker

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 300 pages, 7 × 4.75 × 0.75 in

Published: September 13, 2004

Publisher: HarperCollins

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0006392865

ISBN - 13: 9780006392866

From the Publisher

REEF IS AN EMBITTERED YOUNG OFFENDER, hardly able to contain his anger at the world over the death of his grandmother, the only person who had shown him any love. Seventeen-year-old Leeza is mourning the death of her older sister. A stone hurled in rage shatters both their lives and throws them together in the most unexpected way—and offers them a chance at healing.

About the Author

DON AKER is the author of The First Stone,winner of the Ann Connor Brimer Award and the White Pine Award. His first novel,Of Things Not Seen, also won the Ann Connor Brimer Award and theCanadian Authors Association Lilla Stirling Award. Stranger at Bay, hissecond novel, was shortlisted for several major awards. Don Aker has worked as ateacher for over 20 years and lives in Nova Scotia with his family.

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17