Stones For My Father

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Stones For My Father

by Trilby Kent

Tundra | March 22, 2011 | Hardcover

Stones For My Father is rated 4 out of 5 by 3.

Corlie Roux’s farm life in South Africa is not easy: the Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend, Sipho, and in Africa itself and in the stories she conjures for her brothers.

But Corlie’s world is about to vanish: the British are invading and driving Boer families like hers from their farms. Some escape into the bush to fight the enemy. The unlucky ones are rounded up and sent to internment camps.

Will Corlie’s resilience and devotion to her country sustain her through the suffering and squalor she finds in the camp at Kroonstad? That may depend on a soldier from faraway Canada and on inner resources Corlie never dreamed she had….

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 176 pages, 7.94 × 6.07 × 0.67 in

Published: March 22, 2011

Publisher: Tundra

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1770492526

ISBN - 13: 9781770492523

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Historical Story... Story Description: Tundra|March 22, 2011|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-77049-252-3 Corlie Roux’s farm life in South Africa is not easy. The Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies,she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend,Sipho, and in Africa itself and in the stories she conjures for her brothers. But Corlie’s world is about to vanish; the British are invading and driving Boer families like hers from their farms. Some escape into the bush to fight the enemy. The unlucky ones are rounded up and sent to internment camps. Will Corlie’s resilience and devotion to her country sustain her through the suffering and squalor that she finds in the camp at Kroonstad? That may depend on a soldier from faraway Canada and on inner resources Corlie never dreamed she had. My Review: I felt so terribly sorry for Corlie in this story. Her mother treated her like garbage and hated her as deeply as she loved her sons. In her mother’s eyes, Corlie could do nothing right, she didn’t even have to do anything wrong, her mother just seemed to have this perpetual hatred toward her. In part of the story while they were staying in an internment camp, I cried for Corlie for what her mother did to her. However, a secret is revealed that may shed some light on why Corlie’s mother treated her the way she did. Corlie, her mother, and brothers are forced to flee their farm when the British are coming to invade but don’t make it very far before they are captured and sent to a camp in Kroonstad. The conditions there are horrible. Little food, starvation, lack of water, lice, children dying of disease or wasting away, just deplorable conditions all round. The decade long “Scramble for Africa, the Anglo-Boer War (October 1899 – May 1902) was fought between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics: the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State. It was the longest and bloodiest British war fought between 1815 and 1914. Roughly 8,600 Canadians volunteered to fight in the war, making this the first time that large contingents of lives, as well as the lives of between 6,000 and 7,000 Boer fighters, the conflict came to represent the end of the era of “great” imperial wars.” The Boer War was fought in what is now known as South Africa between the Afrikaners who were of Dutch descent and the British. It really is a very tragic tale that will stir your emotions more than you think. Trilby Kent has done a marvelous job of describing exactly what occurred. You can picture in your mind the woman fleeing with their children, their homes being burnt down, the smell of the internment camp and the death that is rampant there. For anyone interested in history and war this most entertaining story will be right up your alley. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will look for more of Kent’s work.
Date published: 2012-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from War on the Homefront Reason for Reading: In my love of all things Victorian, I enjoy reading historical fiction about the Boer War, especially when it involves the Canadians who fought in the war. This is a haunting story of the Boer War (fought in what is now South Africa) between the Afrikaners (of Dutch descent) and the British. Told through the eyes of a young girl, we are told the behind the scenes side of the war, that of the Boer women and children left alone on the veldt to fend for themselves. Often their homes are burnt to the ground so that they cannot help their soldiers hiding out in the bush and many turn to joining together and forming laager's with their wagons to protect themselves against the British. But eventually, in this losing war, woman and children are rounded up and placed in internment camps for the duration. Corlie's father died of sickness before the war started, so she is left with a mother who hates her for some secret reason and two little brothers, one four years younger and the other a babe in arms. Quite a tragic tale as we learn of Corlie's life, where the only love she's known came from her now deceased father. She is close to her younger brother and to the African servant boy, but she is getting to an age where her playing with him is now frowned upon. A harsh, mother who obviously loves her brothers and not herself takes them along on their journey away from the British but only to end up under their guard in the interment camp. Corlie does make a secret friend along the way though of a Corporel who looks British only he has a small maple leaf on his uniform to distinguish him as being Canadian. This man pops up several times in Corlie's life and through him we learn the British side of the War. A well-written, intense story. Tragic, harsh and bittersweet it shows the side of war of those who are not fighting but simply living in the war zone. A quick read, I found quite gripping and enjoyed the character of Corlie who had a rough life yet was a friendly, loving girl with an imagination and a fondness for storytelling. A good read.
Date published: 2011-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surviving a difficult life Children are the most resilient. They can turn an untenable situation into a positive action. Adults tend to be so set in their ways that they are unable to see any other option but to continue doing what they were doing. Corlie Roux was put in a situation of adapt or die. At twelve years old, she knew there was so much more to life than she had seen so far. Growing up in 1890's South Africa with her Boer family was hard. Her father died when she was 9 and she now lived with her ever resentful mother and two younger brothers, whom she doted on. Now the war had reached their doorstep and they had to flee. This was not the end of Corlie's trials. She watched as her lifelong playmate and soul mate Sipho (was he a Zulu?) was torn away from his family and destined for a cruel fate. When her mother dealt the final blow, it was questionable whether Corlie could survive. I have read very few books set in Africa and even fewer set in South Africa. All the ones that I have read have a grittiness to them. In this case, the two sets of immigrants, the British and the Boers are battling for control of a land that was not theirs to start with. The children are caught in the midst. It was clear to me through the whole story that these same children, Corlie and Sipho were the ones best suited to survive. They were willing to work together and ignore their differences of colour and religion. This story captivated me. I didn't want to put it down once I started to read. Corlie seemed such a good girl. She did all the tasks her mother set to her even when she knew that they would not be appreciated. She craved the love that her mother withheld from her yet lavished on her brothers. While she did get affection from Sipho's mother, it wasn't what she yearned for. It was when she met Corporal Malachi Byrne that she finally found a sense of appreciation. I liked how Ms. Kent built up the relationship between the two of them. They didn't speak the same language, but through their actions they were able to become friends. To me, that is a true testament of trust. Even though they had limited history together, they were able to sense the need and the honesty of the other. I felt that this story contains enough historical fact to be a good introduction to that period in history. It would be a good launching point for further research at the grade school level. I will be passing this along to my daughter to read.
Date published: 2011-04-27

– More About This Product –

Stones For My Father

Stones For My Father

by Trilby Kent

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 176 pages, 7.94 × 6.07 × 0.67 in

Published: March 22, 2011

Publisher: Tundra

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1770492526

ISBN - 13: 9781770492523

About the Book

Corlie Roux's farm life in South Africa is not easy: the Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend, Sipho, and in Africa itself and in the stories she conjures for her brothers.
But Corlie's world is about to vanish: the British are invading and driving Boer families like hers from their farms. Some escape into the bush to fight the enemy. The unlucky ones are rounded up and sent to internment camps.
Will Corlie's resilience and devotion to her country sustain her through the suffering and squalor she finds in the camp at Kroonstad? That may depend on a soldier from faraway Canada and on inner resources Corlie never dreamed she had....

From the Publisher

Corlie Roux’s farm life in South Africa is not easy: the Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend, Sipho, and in Africa itself and in the stories she conjures for her brothers.

But Corlie’s world is about to vanish: the British are invading and driving Boer families like hers from their farms. Some escape into the bush to fight the enemy. The unlucky ones are rounded up and sent to internment camps.

Will Corlie’s resilience and devotion to her country sustain her through the suffering and squalor she finds in the camp at Kroonstad? That may depend on a soldier from faraway Canada and on inner resources Corlie never dreamed she had….

About the Author

TRILBY KENT was born in Toronto, Ontario, but grew up in cities on both sides of the Atlantic. After completing degrees at Oxford University and The London School of Economics, she worked in the rare books department at a prominent auction house before turning to journalism. She now lives in London, England. Stones for My Father is Trilby Kent’s second young adult novel.

Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2012 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award “A riveting book about the Anglo-Boer war at the turn of the last century and Canada’s place in it… Kent draws her characters and the landscape around them in penetrating prose… Today’s children will develop heartfelt admiration and respect for Corlie Rioux. Though this young heroine struggles with the loss of parental love, a special friendship, and her home, she holds steadfast, brave, and true and emerges a survivor… At times raw, but always gripping, this novel packs an emotional punch.” – Jury Citation,  TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award “…Trilby Kent reveals the way South African Boers were targets for large-scale extermination during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), and how Africans were maligned and oppressed by the Boers. Through the eyes of twelve-year-old Corlie Roux, the narrator, we trace the suffering of Boer farmers….” —2012 Children’s Africana Book Awards Committee“The more prominent review media seem to have completely missed this gem from a Canadian-Brit. In quickly evocative prose, Kent creates an immediate and scintillating [story]. Kent has a keen craft and understands her audience, and the U.S. children’s literature world would do well to start paying her more attention.” —BayViews“… This book is particularly unique … its human rather than historical elements are what make this thread of the story the most compelling element in Stones for my Father. As is so often the case with historical fi
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Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12