Justin and the Magic Stone
A "tween" book that should also resonate with adults, Justin and the Magic Stone is a gorgeously illustrated story about a boy learning to accept the fact that he is growing up.
Justin has just moved to a new town where he doesn't know anyone. He misses his best friend, Tom, and spends his lonely days daydreaming about his former life. One day, after discovering a vaguely heart-shaped stone, he realizes that he can suddenly hear the voices of all the creatures in the yard. He begins to hear something else in their words: a call to a new life and a new way of seeing things.
Over the summer, Justin and his new friends map out the yard and its environs. One day, while using a magnifying glass, Justin suddenly tumbles through the glass and into a miniature world he never knew existed around him. There, he meets and befriends Barney Beetle and Artie Ant, who lead him on many adventures around the yard, including getting swept up on a milkweed seed and landing in a bird's nest. Later, Justin soars through the garden on the wings of a beautiful yellow butterfly, who becomes a close friend.
After returning to his normal size, Justin finds himself contemplating his reflection in the mirror, puzzled by the physical changes he sees appearing there. Again, he falls through the glass, and explores the "reverse world" of the new house. In the meantime, he discovers that he is changing on the inside as well.
Finally, after playing with the stone one day in the yard, he realizes he can connect with his former pal, Tom, just by thinking of him. What's more, once they're together, they discover they can use the stone to walk through a telescope into a whole new place, even onto the surface of the moon!
As Justin's summer comes to an end, he realizes that soon he must begin classes at a new school. But first, he reunites with all his friends from the yard, along with his old friend, Tom. He realizes the stone has taught him to see and hear things in a new way; and that -- just by thinking about them -- he can be transported back to this magical summer when he first began to listen to the voice of things.