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Reviewed by Dusty Borlase
Opening sentence
“I wanted to get out and explore as soon as we pulled into the driveway, but there was all this work to do first.”
Miles is fourteen when he moves to a campground on the Coromandel coast. He is filling in potholes in the driveway when he finds a red stone. He picks it up thinking that it’s just a cool rock, but that night, he hears singing. The rock, which was in his sock drawer, starts glowing and pulsing in time to the singing. Miles soon realises that, since touching the rock, he can see and hear things that other people can’t.

The Singing Stone was interesting at almost every chapter, mixing day-to-day life into an exciting story, which was full strange happenings (such as singing stones, and weird men who own rock gardens), magic, excitement, and at times, odd entertaining characters (who Miles thought were strange).

I was able to see myself in the story, as the main character was easily relatable. (e.g. Miles is fourteen, with a voice and actions of a fourteen-year-old, not a thirty-four-year-old.)

Gary Venn was good at describing things. I could see exactly what he wanted me to.

“That night I woke up suddenly. It was very late and the room was very dark. I was disorientated; I had been sleeping deeply, and something had woken me up abruptly. I sat up. The duvet fell down and the air was freezing on my bare arms. My eyes began to adjust. It was very quiet. My breathing sounded overly loud. As I looked around the room, I noticed a pale pink glow coming from the corner of the room. My eyes strained in the blackness. It was coming from the dresser.”

All the characters fit to the other characters, the characters to the setting, the setting to the timeline, etc… (there was no robot swimming in the ocean in the middle of ancient Egypt).

Throughout the whole book, I could see that it was heading to something, and it kept me wanting to read. That made it hard, because when I got to the end of the book, even though it ended well, I still wanted to read more. This is important because it means that the story is good.

I chose The Singing Stone, because the cover had a good picture, and the name was interesting.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a small amount of thrill and magic in their books.

- Dusty is 12 and lives in Whangarei.
Publisher: David Bateman Ltd
ISBN: 9781776890552
Format: Paperback
Publication: 2023
Ages: 12-15
Themes: Coming of age, adventure, self-discovery, independence