BOOK NAME: Stone Fox
AUTHOR: John Reynolds Gardiner
Welcome to today’s book club meeting!
We just finished reading Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardner. It was a short book, and a sad one, but we enjoyed reading it.
If you have finished the book, click “See More” to go to the meeting.
If you haven’t finished yet, stop here!
Do you have an idea for what book we can read in December? Leave a comment, and your pick might be a future Book of the Month!
There’s a lot at stake in the upcoming dogsled race. Willy needs to use the prize money to pay the taxes, but he has used money he is supposed to use for college to enter the race. With Stone Fox as one of the competitors, not many other racers have joined. After all, Stone Fox has never lost a race.
Doc Smith sends Willy into town to get some medicine for Grandfather. While there, he sees Stone Fox’s beautiful team of Samoyeds. When he tried to pet them, Stone Fox hits him. When Willy wakes up the next morning, his eye is swollen shut. He harnesses Searchlight to the dogsled and heads into town.
The kids’ race is held first, but Willy doesn’t pay much attention. He’s waiting for the main event. All of the other racers are mountain men with dog teams. Willy’s just a kid, and he only has Searchlight. Even though it’s only the two of them, Willy isn’t afraid.
At the start of the race, Willy and Searchlight are in first place while Stone Fox and his team are in last place. As the race goes on, though, Stone Fox catches up. Willy manages to hold onto his lead until one hundred feet from the finish line. Then something terrible happens to Searchlight. She dies while running, and she, the sled, and Willy skid to a stop ten feet from the finish line. Stone Fox doesn’t finish the race, though. He holds all of the other racers off while Willy carries Searchlight the final ten feet.
The author says that he based this book on a Rocky Mountains legend, and that the ending of the story reportedly happened.
Why do you think that Stone Fox hit Willy?
Why do you think Stone Fox does what he does at the finish line when he could have easily finished the race?
What do you think of the ending? Is it happy, or sad, or both? Why?
words you might not have seen before. (All definitions
from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.)
Forge: To form or bring into being especially by an expenditure of effort.
Mountain Man: An American frontiersman (as a trapper) at home in the wilderness.
What did you think of the book? Leave a comment and let us know! We’re also looking for a book to read in December, so if you have an idea, leave the book title and author in a comment.