Stone Fox, by John Reynolds, is one of my favorite books and it makes me cry every time I read it. It is very short, only taking about 45 minutes for my sons and me to read. The book tells the story of Little Willy, a ten-year-old boy who lives on a potato farm in Wisconsin with his grandfather. One morning, his grandfather won’t get out of bed after sinking into a deep depression about how much money he owes in back taxes. Little Willy decides to enter a dog sled race against Stone Fox, and Indian that has never lost a race, in order to win the money needed to save both the farm and his grandpa.
1. Where/when does this story take place? Would you have liked to live back then?
2. Why wouldn’t Willy’s grandfather get out of bed?
3. What would have happened if Willy didn't earn $500?
4. Would you have been able to take care of a farm by yourself?
5. Who was Stone Fox? Was he nice or mean?
6. Where did Willy get the money to enter the dogsled race? Do you think he made a good decision?
7. How did Willy’s age and size help him in the race?
8. What did you think about the end of the race? Did you expect that to happen?
9. Do you think Willy’s grandpa got better?
10. What was your favorite part of the book/least favorite part? Why?
We ate potato chips, since Willy and his grandpa live on a potato farm, and Sno-Caps, since the story takes place in the snow.
1. An Art Project: The kids made origami dogs and popsicle stick dog sleds. The dogs ended up being much more complicated than I’d anticipated, so only a couple kids actually finished them.
2. Physical Activity: We went outside and had dogsled races. I tied a rope to our wagon handle and the handle on a baby car. Kids had to sit on the car/wagon while another kid pulled them across the yard. It was pretty funny to watch, and the kids loved it.