The Court of the Stone Children

by Eleanor Cameron

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What is the theme of Eleanor Cameron's book "The Court of the Stone Children"?

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There are actually several themes throughout the novel. The main theme is that time cannot be categorized into neat divisions of the past, present, or the future. Time is an ongoing continuum, an entity on its own. As humans, we try to stop time or capture it in mirrors or in our memories, but it's not possible. In this novel, Mrs. Kendrick, Nina's landlady, searches for her youthful self in mirrors.

Another theme deals with human qualities such as love, friendship, loyalty, and courage, and the lasting impact they can have on all of us, no matter how much time has passed or how far we travel. Another theme shows how we can win even when we're faced with what seems to be insurmountable obstacles. Humans also have the responsibility to accept those who are "different" from us, not imposing our ideas of normalcy or right upon others who may have a different idea of what they think it is. The novel also expresses the idea that it's possible to love and hate someone at the same time. This idea is found sometimes in our relationship with one or more members of our family. We may love our brother, sister, mother or father simply because they're family, but we can also hate them if they do or say something that is unforgivable.

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