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A Stone's Throw

When Lillian Stone lapses into a coma and is admitted to a San Francisco hospital in the spring of 1969, her only child, twelve-year-old Maggie, is temporarily taken in by her best friend’s family. More than a month later, the neighbors can no longer afford to provide for Maggie’s room and board. Uprooted again, she is sent to a local orphanage. Just as she’s beginning to adapt to life at the orphanage, Ira Stone, a grandfather she never met, shows up unexpectedly and shuttles her 1200 miles away to live at his ranch on the isolated plains of eastern Montana.

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Maggie knows nothing about her hard-nosed WWI Veteran Grandpa other than being aware that he and her mother have long been estranged. Thrust into a culture and lifestyle that couldn’t be more opposite of her San Francisco upbringing, Maggie is suddenly expected to do household and barnyard chores under the critical eye of a grizzled old rancher.

Ira and Maggie are equally skeptical of each other as they attempt to adapt to the vastly different world they now share. In addition to facing all the challenges in her new life, the worry of whether her mom will ever regain consciousness is never far from Maggie’s thoughts. Despite having to overcome the overwhelming obstacles placed in her path, Maggie’s grit, determination, and can-do spirit are evident in this heartwarming story of how she wins the love and respect of the members of her new community, not the least of which is her grandfather, Ira Stone.

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A Stone's Throw Reviews

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Jeff Bailey
 
author of the highly acclaimed Sing Family Conspiracies

A Stone’s Throw is a superbly crafted and emotionally told Young Adult, coming-of-age story about a girl named Maggie Stone whose life heaves up and pivots off in an unanticipated direction from San Francisco to Montana’s horse country. On reading, I realized a different theme. When a dark cloud covers your world, look for the silver lining. Maggie is instantly likable and seems to be a bit of every girl. I enjoyed A Stone’s Throw and highly recommend this very satisfying read to not only the YA crowd but to adults of all ages. I can easily visualize a TV series based on this wonderful storyline. 

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Naomi Roberson, The Word Count

Through skillful storytelling, Wayne Edwards delicately intertwines the innocence of youth with the depth of his protagonist’s intelligence as we watch her navigate distressing life circumstances. A Stone’s Throw tenderly captures the odyssey of growing up, offering a heartwarming narrative that would make an invaluable addition to any educational curriculum.

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TowTruck & Wayward Reader

A Stone’s Throw is a heart-achingly beautiful story of a girl’s experiences with loss and love. The protagonist, Maggie, lives with her mother in a small apartment in a working-class neighborhood of San Francisco. Maggie’s mom experiences a severe medical condition that leads to hospitalization. Because of her mother’s condition, Maggie has had to assume certain responsibilities that most twelve-year-old girls don’t even know about. Yet Maggie doesn’t complain about her lot in life and only wants to see her mother healed. With no other parent or guardian around and no idea how long her mother will be hospitalized, Maggie moves in with a family friend. Raising another child in a working-class family is challenging and eventually, the family friend must take Maggie to an orphanage since there is no recovery timeline for Maggie’s mother. Maggie loses the only home she remembers, her way of life, and her mother’s condition isn’t improving.


When Maggie’s grandfather arrives to take Maggie to his home, Maggie doesn’t bemoan her life. She views his arrival as an opportunity to learn about her mother and grandparents. Undoubtedly life on the farm will be vastly different than what she is accustomed to, yet Maggie doesn’t complain, she simply does the work she is asked to do.


A Stone’s Throw highlights the resilience of spirit and the need to feel and give love. Maggie flourishes at her grandfather's farm. A city kid in a country environment could be difficult. Farm kids are used to long days, hard work, and no downtime. Maggie takes the changes in stride. She accepts the opportunity she has been given for a change. She discovers that she loves the farming life. She makes new friends and adapts. It’s not always smooth going for Maggie but she has the positive spirit that everyone needs.


In the character Maggie, Wayne Edwards deftly captures the emotional turmoil and confusion of young adulthood. Maggie is imperfect in all the right ways and her optimism is a positive example for all youth.


On a personal note, I have a niece and two granddaughters who will be receiving this book when it is available. School counselors should find this book helpful when discussing emotions with students. Incorporating it into the curriculum or the YA offerings of the library would be perfect.
 

Thank you, Wayne Edwards, for allowing me the opportunity to read such a wonderful book in advance of its publication.

About the Author

Wayne Edwards was born and raised in the rural, central Montana town of Denton, graduating from high school in 1971. A three-sport high school standout, Edwards attended Montana State University-Bozeman on a football scholarship, receiving his B.S. in Pre-Med in 1975. He then completed his DDS degree from the University of Washington, and returned to Bozeman where he practiced Dentistry until 1986. Wayne then went back to his hometown of Denton, joining his father as a third generation banker at the family-owned agricultural bank started by his grandfather in 1929.

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Contact

Bozeman, Montana

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