Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Jeremy Stone

Choyce, Lesley (Author)
Red Deer Press 2013. 184 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780889955042 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, conflict, dialogue, evocative language, figurative language, language conventions, layout, point of view, setting

Award

Governor General’s Literary Award – Finalist – 2014

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

“We go back to the Stone Age. Hah.” Jeremy Stone knows he inherited his father’s depression. He also knows he is the inheritor of a rich worldview and tradition: “Did I tell you that my people,/his people,/go back 10,000 years here?/Maybe more. Who knows?/Maybe my ancestors were flint and obsidian and coal and amethyst.”

Free verse language sketches Jeremy’s relationships with his father (working “on the oil rigs out West”), his mother (who keeps her addictions down to tobacco and alcohol), classmate Caitlan (“Don’t let the bastards get to you”) and his grandfather (“Old Man”), now in the spirit world.

The story imbues contemporary urban life with poetry: at the school water fountain (“kept my thumb/on the button./I offered her/the stream, and the forest/and the mountain too”); drawing on ancestral wisdom to manage a bully (“Thomas now nodded as well. He too acted like/we’d been cheated out of learning about the/true history of Aboriginal North Americans”); cleaning up a trash-infested creek (“haul those rusty shopping carts out of the water … The flowing water just laughed”) and more.

The story’s message of healing and integration is underlined as Jeremy begins a new path of self-understanding, incorporating his unique shamanic gifts to help others and himself: “Today, it’s kinda complicated being a warrior. It’s not about fighting your enemies anymore./It’s about conquering your fears, conquering yourself, and protecting what needs to be protected.”

  •  

    The voice of a troubled teen is rendered in free verse. Discuss how this singular point of view impacts the ability of readers to connect to the character and the story.

  •  

    Discuss how the text represents issues such as bullying, victimization and being perceived as different. Share examples from the text and consider how these scenes work to build the narrative.

  •  

    Rewrite a scene from the point of view of one of the other characters. Reflect on the way perspective changes when the story is told from the point of view of Jeremy’s mother, grandfather, Caitlan, or any other character. Share with peers and discuss how the different voices help to better understand Jeremy’s circumstances.

  •  

    Think of behaviours that may indicate depression in teenagers. In a small group, discuss what you believe are the signs, sources and treatment of depression for teens.

  •  As you read, pay attention to the placement and spacing of words in this free verse novel. What is the author trying to convey with each arrangement?
  •  Throughout the novel, Jeremy taps into the spirit world for advice and wisdom. In a short essay, explain who or what you believe the three spirits (Old Man, Jenson, Jimmy) really are or signify. Make clear references to the text to support your hypothesis.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Social Sciences