Cover image for In the stone circle
In the stone circle
Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
225 pages ; 22 cm
While spending the summer in an old stone house in Wales, fourteen-year-old Cristyn comes to terms with the death of her mother while satisfying the request of a thirteenth-century princess.
Reading Level:
640 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.1 6.0 20117.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.5 8 Quiz: 05810.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Fourteen-year-old Cristyn is unhappy about spending the summer in Wales, where her father will be researching his book. From the moment they arrive, though, things prove to be anything but dull.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-8. There are many kinds of ghosts: those of the historical past and those we must face internally, and Kimmel handles both adroitly in this accomplished, deeply romantic first novel. Fourteen-year-old Cristyn doesn't want to leave Ohio for a summer in Wales, where her father will finish his research in fifteenth-century Welsh history. They share their rented house with another professor and her daughter, Miranda, who is Cris' age, and Miranda's little brother, Dennis. Strange goings-on in the hidden cellar of the house and in the circle of stones in a nearby clearing lead Cris to a ghostly girl related to the thirteenth-century Llywelyn ab Gruffydd, the last independent ruler of Wales. There are other hauntings: When Cris was three, her Welsh mother died, and Cris longs to know of her but doesn't know how to ask her gentle father; Miranda and Dennis' divorced father is very much alive but feeds their loss and hostility by dropping in and out of their lives with no warning. Miranda's anger, Cris' longing, and Dennis' little-boy hurt are played against the tapestry of a beautiful if rainy countryside full of sheep and mountains. Kimmel handles the history and the ghost of the girl Carwen with a deft naturalness that keeps both vivid, and the resolution of all the plot strands is satisfying without being overly pat. (Reviewed April 15, 1998)0590213083GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kimmel's debut novel is a fast-paced contemporary tale‘interlaced with a historical mystery‘set in Wales and featuring a cast of well-rounded characters. A young female ghost, searching for a prized possession bequeathed by her beloved father, haunts the 16th-century stone house where 14-year-old Cristyn Stone and her father, a professor of medieval studies, are staying for the summer. Another professor, Mrs. Dunham, and her two children‘a lonely boy and his rebellious older sister‘join them. Both families are trying to cope with traumatic family situations. Cristyn's mother died when she was three, and although she and her father have a solid relationship, he rarely mentions the loss, leaving Cristyn hungry for details and memories. The Dunham children are coping not only with their parents' recent divorce, but with an intermittently appearing father who almost kidnapped eight-year-old Dennis. Kimmel packs into her tale a satisfying amount of interpersonal strife and reconciliation that may well resonate with readers. The author's ability to show her characters at their best and worst while they grapple with their own inner turmoil (particularly Dennis's prickly sister) makes up for a few predictable plot elements, and the brisk pace and moody Welsh setting will draw readers deep into the mystery. Ages 10-14. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9‘Cristyn, 14, is horrified at the prospect of spending the summer in Wales while her professor father does research in medieval studies. Even when he reveals that her mother, who died when she was three, was born in Wales and that her own name is Welsh, Cristyn doesn't want to face an entire summer away from home. In spite of her misgivings, she feels an affinity for the centuries-old cottage they rent along with her father's colleague, Erica Dunham, and her two children, Miranda and Dennis. Miranda is angry and hurt over her parents' divorce and her absent father's lack of attention. The children become involved in trying to make sense of strange happenings around the cottage‘coins dropping out of the air, pieces being moved around on a Scrabble board, etc.‘and are drawn into Welsh history and legend. Interwoven into the ghost story are the issues and conflicts being worked out in both families. The characters are well developed and the plot has plenty of twists to keep readers turning the pages. The easy, yet complex, relationship between Cristyn and her father is especially well drawn in contrast to Miranda's difficult relationship with her mother. Most importantly, this book is accessible to kids who read a lot of contemporary realistic stories, but it offers them much more than the usual problem novel because of its supernatural elements and its glimpse into the rich history of another part of the world.‘Connie C. Rockman, Stratford Library Association, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.