A Single Stone by Meg McMinlay
When a girl is born into the village everyone holds their breath for the announcement of her measurements. If she is small enough she will be treated like royalty, training to become part of the line, a select group of seven girls small enough to travel into the mountain that surrounds the village to bring back the harvest, supplies upon which the town survives. The mothers, governors of the village, bind their limbs and monitor food intake to make sure each girl doesn’t thicken.
Jena is the leader of the line, born tiny and trained to be strong and reliable. When her foster mother gives birth early to one of the smallest girls ever, Jena starts to wonder if the mothers might have something to do with the early births.
A Single Stone is a beautiful and delicate novel that tackles some big questions about gender and power in an interesting manner, entertaining the reader. With body image, women’s roles in society, and government corruption all part of this powerful novel hopefully this book gets young adults talking about these important issues. Perfect for ages 11 and up.
Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.