cover image Finding the Green Stone

Finding the Green Stone

Alice Walker, A. Walker. Harcourt Children's Books, $20 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-15-227538-9

``In a small community on the Earth,'' every person and animal possesses a shiny green stone. If a stone's owner shows warmth, love and respect to others, his stone glows, but negative actions and feelings cause the stone to become dull and gray until restitution can be made. When Johnny loses his green stone, he must discover the strength and wisdom within himself that will bring the magic glow back to his life. Walker presents a rather forced message in this strange story. The tone is ethereal and removed--odd qualities in such a personal plot--while the writing style, especially the dialogue, is stiff and didactic. Young readers will have difficulty understanding the confusing concept that a person's inner goodness should be reflected in an iridescent rock. Deeter's warm acrylic paintings are full of life, depicting the multiethnic inhabitants of this unusual town, which itself seems enveloped by an eerie green light. The book's intent is noble but in the end simply too hard to swallow. All ages. (Oct.)