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It moved

Anne Fine
Walker Books
May 2006
Time for reflection, for thought and for the development and exploration of individual imaginative worlds are constantly impaired and impinged upon by the bombardment of visual and audio stimulation that assault children’s senses at every turn demanding their occupation in the ceaseless cacophony of ‘modernity’. Perfect remedy can be found in “It moved” a short, but delightfully witty tale that challenges us to see the extraordinary in the everyday.

Lily faces a dilemma, it is show and tell but, as computer games are now banned, as the chocolate rabbit upon her dressing table is - or rather Lily feels should be - for the delectation of her taste-buds alone, she wonders what best to take to ensure the enlightenment and entertainment of her fellow class-mates. Solution comes in the form of the pleasingly lumpy stone, with the rich grey colour, weird little pockmarks and faint wavy lines that trips her dad up on his way home from work each day… sadly her class-mates appear to be geological philistines .

“Mrs Bentley! Mrs Bentley! Please tell us we didn’t have to get out of bed and come all the way to school this morning just to look at an old stone!”

Lily tells her peers that the stone moves – a comment that is not entirely fallacious as astute readers will discern. Some of her class firmly uphold belief in the geode’s perambulatory capabilities, others are sceptics whilst others still remain uncertain preferring to rely on empirical evidence rather than gut feeling…

With characteristically deft and sparing prose Anne Fine paints an instantly recognisable school setting. Though Lily’s story enquiring readers are provoked to question the nature of truth and of belief. The stone acts as a wonderful focal point for the children’s powers of imagination and wonder serving as a potent reminder that though not wielding wands, we are all nonetheless magicians, made of and making magic.


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