Stone Water

Stone Water

Barbara Snow Gilbert

Grant Hughes is asked by his grandfather to help him die if he is transferred to the terminal ward of the hospital. His grandfather couches this disturbing request in a story. Though its implications are inescapable, the story is Grandpa’s way of giving Grant the option of not getting the message and not accepting the task.
Both Grant’s parents are lawyers. His father is remote, not only from Grant but also from his own father. Because Grant’s grandfather does not feel he can ask his son to honor his last wishes, he turns to Grant as his only hope.
Stone Water is the honest, intelligent, and engaging story of a boy’s confrontation with an adult decision. The book examines and illuminates the moral, ethical, and legal implications of an increasingly prominent and controversial human issue.


  • Ages: 12 - 15
  • Grades: 6 - 9
  • Pages: 176

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Recent Reviews

7The handling of this difficult subject is thoughtful, poignant, respectful, and honest … the sentiments ring true and resonate.

—School Library Journal

A rich, absorbing story of believable situations and intelligent characters. No reader of any age will be unmoved.

—Kirkus Reviews

An emotionally charged first novel; the author’s personal vision of the meaning of life, death and love adds power and heft to her narrative.

—Publishers Weekly

This excellent, poignant book should be on all school and public library shelves.

—Voice of Youth Advocates

Honors for Stone Water

  • Oklahoma Book Award
  • Junge-Jugendbuch-Jury Award
  • Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults List Nominee—YALSA
  • Texas Lone Star Reading List
  • Books for the Teen Age—NYPL
  • Children's Literature Top Choice List
  • Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group—IRA
  • Los Angeles' 100 Best Books
  • SLJ Best Books

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