The Stone Beach
By Kim Chatel
Suggested reading age: 10-14
Paperback: 58 pages
Publisher: Eternal Press (March 5, 2009)
When Caroline begins her last year of middle school, she barely recognizes her best friend. Brenda dresses differently. She blows off classes, homework and friends. But has Brenda really changed, or is Caroline just seeing her with new eyes?
Caroline has worries that Brenda doesn’t even understand. Her fifteen-year-old cat, Casey, is sick and the vet has been hinting that it’s time to put him to sleep. How can Caroline lose her two best friends at once?
In the next few months, Caroline learns that some friendships are not worth keeping, others are worth fighting for and still others will endure into the afterlife.
Read more about Casey and Caroline at http://www.kimchatel.com/
Love, Life, Death - and a Stone Beach
Reviewed by Susan Stephenson of the Book Chook
Right from the introduction, you can tell The Stone Beach is a one-of-a-kind story. “The sun was dark shades of pink and red. The magic light burnished the leaves gold and painted the garden in dream colors.” That picture sets the scene for an elegantly-written tale that is hard to classify but easy to enjoy.
The characters are compelling and believable. Protagonist, Caroline, is a young teen on the cusp of womanhood. She’s just started her last year of Middle School with the group of friends she’s had for years. But there have been changes in Caroline’s life. She’s recently moved further out of town, to a property near the river. Bored here and missing her friends, she’s also begun to worry about her beloved cat, Casey.
Any teen will relate as Caroline tries to cope with life’s hurdles. Old friends, new friends, illness, romance and ghostly cats shape Caroline’s future. She must grapple with issues of love, life and death; while in the background, there is always the mysterious Stone Beach.
Kim Chatel is a rising star in the world of literature and a born storyteller. In another incarnation, she’d have gauged the effect of her tales in faces that watched and listened to her by flickering firelight. Like other excellent writers, she knows that often, it’s what an author doesn’t say, that piques a reader’s interest and makes a book memorable. Chatel cleverly allows the reader to draw her own conclusions in The Stone Beach.
Part coming-of-age tale, part ghost story, all enthralling reading, this is one of those special novels not easy to forget. Long after you’ve finished reading it, you’ll find it stays with you. You’ll remember the way it moved you. You’ll look around for your own Stone Beach.
I also redid the trailer. It's one of my favorites I've ever done.