What is the symbolism of the stones in Stones in Water?

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According to the quickNotes guide, "(t)he picks and stones remind the reader of the rubble... lifted day after tortuous day."  Furthermore, "(s)tones will always speak to Roberto of a little girl, a friend who wove him tales old and new, and the stones to build himself anew." 

Here is citation that refers to Roberto and the girl: "Roberto slipped the girl's gift stone into his pocket and squeezed it as hard as he could."

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