Married; children: two. Education: B.A. (English and journalism). Hobbies and other interests: Practicing kung fu (Shaolin-Do).
Home and office—Carmel, IN.
Author. Worked variously as an editor, photographer, technical writer, maintenance worker, ballroom-dance instructor, concert promoter, and marketing director.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Great Stone Face Book Award, Children's Librarians of New Hampshire, for Tiger; Best Books for Young Adults designation, American Library Association, and New York Book Show Awards honor, Bookbinders' Guild of New York, both 2006, both for Monkey.
"FIVE ANCESTORS" MIDDLE-GRADE NOVEL SERIES
Tiger, Random House (New York, NY), 2005.
Monkey, Random House (New York, NY), 2005.
Snake, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.
Crane, Random House (New York, NY), 2007.
Stone's "Five Ancestors" novels were adapted as audiobooks, read by Kiki Barrera, for Listening Library, beginning 2005.
Jeff Stone's career in young-adult literature began with an auspicious start. Tiger, the first installment in his "Five Ancestors" series, was auctioned between five publishing houses upon its completion, with Random House winning the right to publish the book. The inspiration for the five-part series about five orphan Buddhist monks came from Stone's own experiences as an adopted child. As he noted in an interview with BookPage online, he had two major goals in life: "one was to write a book and the other was to find my birth mother." Ironically, after achieving his first goal with publication of Tiger, Stone also came to the end of a fifteen-year search when he was reunited with the woman who has given him up for adoption years before.
In the "Five Ancestors" novels, Stone brings readers back to the seventeenth century and introduces readers to the art of kung fu, a discipline he practices daily. Drawing from the philosophy underlying the martial art, he created the series to convey to young people that, as he remarked in his BookPage interview, "everyone has individual strengths and weaknesses. If they can embrace the differences and build on their strengths, it will make the world a better place for them."
Tiger opens the "Five Ancestors" series, as an attack on the orphans' remote monastery results in the death of their teacher, the Grandmaster. After the attack, the five monks are separated, and each book in the series follows the adventures of one of the five. Tiger centers on Fu, the hot-tempered monk who has the fighting characteristics of a tiger. Monkey follows the youngest monk, Malao, who can swiftly maneuver in a monkey-like fashion, and Snake follows the adventures of secretive
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Seh, while Crane concludes the ongoing saga. Reviewing Stone's novels, critics acknowledged the storytelling as fast-paced and action-packed. Kathleen Meulen, reviewing Monkey for School Library Journal, remarked on Stone's "masterful job of managing an intricate plot, developing authentic characters, and writing well-described fight scenes."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, February 15, 2005, Linda Perkins, review of Tiger, p. 1074; October 1, 2005, Linda Perkins, review of Monkey, p. 60.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2005, review of Tiger, p. 236; September 1, 2005, review of Monkey, p. 983; February 1, 2006, review of Snake, p. 137.
Kliatt, September, 2005, Janet Julian, review of Tiger, p. 56.
Publishers Weekly, January 24, 2005, review of Tiger, p. 244.
School Library Journal, February, 2005, Coop Renner, review of Tiger, p. 142; July, 2005, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Tiger, p. 58; October, 2005, Kathleen Meulen, review of Monkey, p. 174; February, 2006, B. Allison Gary, review of Monkey, p. 73.
BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (April 1, 2007), Joni Rendon, "New Kung Fu Series Reflects a Chapter from Author's Past."
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (April 1, 2007), "Jeff Stone."
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Web site,http://www.scbwi.org/ (April 1, 2007), Barbara Odanaka, "Getting to Know … Jeff Stone."