Stone Wall Secrets
Cover painting of Stone Wall Secrets. Illustrations by Gustav Moore.
In 1998, Kristine and Robert Thorson published their award-winning illustrated children's book Stone Wall Secrets (Illustrated by Gustav Moore; published by Tilbury House of Gardiner, Maine).
A few professional reviews are highlighted below:
- Children's Literature: "This heartfelt picture book features a well crafted story, detailed descriptions, and distinctive paintings. After reading this outstanding publication, readers will never look at old stones the same way again Stone Wall Secrets promises to engage readers at every age, and will be a favorite of generations for years to come."
- School Library Journal: "A grandfather gives his grandson a lesson in geology, history, and family pride as they examine the stone walls defining his New England farmstead. Often filling two pages, the colorful, realistic paintings provide a clear picture of the past and present."
- Smithsonian Magazine, having selected it as one of their Notable Books for Children, wrote: "On a fine autumn day, a grandfather and grandson repair the wall on their farm. The rocks they heft offer passage to the realms of geology, history, and anthropology in a seamless, richly interdisciplinary narrative."
- New York Times: "The Thorson's book is aimed at sparking the curiosity of elementary and middleschool students."
- Appraisal: "This book will appeal to children and to anyone who wants children to love learning science. Stone Wall Secrets should be in every library that provides science books to children."
Professor Thorson does occasional classroom visits and workshops to facilitate the use of Stone Wall Secrets in the classroom [Read More]
CURRICULUM - DEVELOPMENT
The Geological Society of America's Education Division began featuring this book in their national reviews, their internet bookstore, and at its annual and regional meetings. Meanwhile, the authors of Stone Wall Secrets (and the teachers they trained) presented the book to many school K-8 groups and outdoor education centers, using a special collection of rocks, artifacts, and fossils. Both groups became convinced that Stone Wall Secrets could serve as the foundation for a broad curriculum project, under the "education" objective of the Stone Wall Initiative. Initially, this notion was supported by Old Sturbridge Village (OSV), in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, the region's largest provider of educational school trips involving early American history. Working with the authors, OSV is designing curriculum materials and exhibits emphasizing the use of stone walls in K-8 education.
In July, 2003, Professor Robert Thorson, working with colleagues Drs. David Moss and Wendy Glenn at the University of Connecticut's NEAG School of Education, were awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation titled Beyond Stone Walls: A K-8 Curriculum. This project was completed in May/June 2005, and posted under the SWI menu bar under Curricula.
Stone Wall Secrets can be obtained from: Most bookstores (ISBN 0-88448-195-6 for the hardcover edition; ISBN 0-88448-229-4 for the paperback). Directly from the publisher (2 Mechanic St., Gardiner ME 04345. 800-582-1899; http//www.tilburyhouse.com) Internet catalogs such as Amazon.com . The book is also complemented by: Stone Wall Secrets Teacher's Guide: Exploring Geology in the Classroom, by Ruth Deike (Tilbury House, 1998, ISBN 0-88448-196-4).