Sticks and Stones


92 pages
ISBN 1-55143-213-7
DDC jC813'.54





Susannah D. Ketchum, a former teacher-librarian at the Bishop Strachan
School in Toronto, serves on the Southern Ontario Library Services


Trudy, better known as Jujube, refuses to rush into premature sex with
dream-throb Brent. However, to save face Brent pretends that he did
“score,” and Jujube finds herself labeled a slut. She identifies a
cadre of other girls who have also been relegated to the “Slut
Club.” With help from friends Sophie and Carlos, Jujube fights back
and helps her fellow victims regain their self-esteem.

Originally published in 2000 as part of Stoddart’s
controlled-vocabulary Series 2000, Sticks and Stones was subsequently
acquired by Orca. Orca put the work through their own editorial process,
and released it in their Soundings series. Orca describes Soundings
“as short, thematic novels … by stalwart teen authors” with
“realistic teenage characters in stories that focus on contemporary
situations and problems.” The books have a reading level of about
Grades 2–5 and are aimed at reluctant teen readers.

In 92 large-type pages, it is difficult to develop a complicated plot
line or to do justice to many characters. Nevertheless, Goobie does a
creditable job. Jujube’s mother, “who thought it was her job to
change the world,” and who terrified Jujube’s principal, is a
delight. Jujube herself, with her creative solution to her problem, is a
strong role model. At a time when we hear so much about bullying in
schools, Sticks and Stones will encourage youngsters to find positive
ways to fight back. Recommended.


Goobie, Beth., “Sticks and Stones,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024,