By Helen Frost
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. 184 pgs. Young Adult
Muriel and Ollie Jorgensen have always been good friends with their neighbors, Frank and Emma Norman, frequently stepping across the stones that span the river that separates their families' land. Things start to change, though, when Frank enlists in the army during WWI, and Ollie, although too young, wants to do the same. Outspoken Muriel is opposed to the war and in favor of women's suffrage, while Emma is busy trying to take on the additional chores around the home since Frank has left.
Muriel, Emma, and Ollie take turns narrating this novel, with Muriel's poems taking the form of a river and Emma's and Ollie's taking the shape of the stones. (Check out the author's note at the end of the book for other information about the way she designed the poems to work together.) Besides the interesting structure of the story, it provides an inside look at the what was happening on the home front during WWI.