Robert Swindells: Stone Coldexternal image ?0140362517

Author - Plot - Characters - Themes - Teaching: Getting Started / Reading Log / Hands-On Activities / Post-Reading



Stone Cold tells the story of Link, a teenage boy, who leaves home because he does not get along with his mother's new boyfriend. Link tries to make a living on the streets of London, where he meets Ginger, another homeĺess teenager. Both become really close friends until Ginger disappears all of a sudden. Other kids vanish, too, and soon the streetkids become aware of a killer stalking the streets.



14+ year-old boy from Bradford / does not get on with his mother's new boyfriend / leaves for London to start a new life on own, but ends up on the street


homeless teenager who soon becomes friends with Link / shows him ways to survive on the streets of London / is murdered by Shelter


47 year-old ex-sergeant, formerly responsible for training young soldiers, but discharged on medical grounds / declares himself responsible for cleaning up the streets of London from any "dossers" / turns into a brutal mass murderer


young girl who enters Link's life just shortly after Ginger disappears / Link and Gail become real close friends and Link falls deeply in love with her / together they roam the streets and try to solve the mistery about Ginger and the other missing streetkids until they have found Shelter / in the end, Gail turns out to be a journalist, who has only used Link for her investigations, and leaves him to his destiny


homelessness, poverty, friendship, love

Teaching Stone Cold in Class

Age Group: appr. grades 10-11
Time Scheme: min. 12 x 45 min.
Outline: pp. 1-15 are read in class => independent reading + reading log + mapping => hands-on activities => beyond the novel

1) Getting Started

a) Title + Cover; b) After Christmas (p.15)

Telling Names:
Link/Shelter (chapter 1+ chapter 2) <= Who is speaking: Point of view => Activity! Take on a new identity! Give yourself a telling name and write a short story about your life.

Last Christmas at home (pp.13-15) => How might the story go on?

2) Reading Log


Who? = Narrator + Characters
Begging Strategies
Street Terms
Call me Link

L. introduces himself in a typical scene of his life on the streets (i.e. sitting in a doorway watching the passers-by), characterises himself as "invisible", yet disturbing
already on the streets of London
some doorway in London on a busy street

Call me Shelter

Shelter introduces himself




3) Hands-On Activities

a) Mapping Link's&Shelter's way through London: phrases/quotes from the novel (places & perception), maps, images, illustrations
b) Dictionary of Street Terms: Re-write colloquial terms in SE
c) Role Play: Beggers & Passers-By
d) Reporter's diary: Re-writing passages of the novel from Gail's perspective.
c) Role Play: Act out Gail's phone calls

4) Post-Reading

Research on UK's Job Centre's, Welfare
Freeze Frames: Last Christmas at home (pp. 13-15) => Inner Monologues which explain the starting point of the story => How might the story go on? Activity! Invent a different Christmas for Link!