Book Title: The Silver Donkey (Hardback)

Details: Author: Hartnett, Sonya

Reading Age: 10 - 11

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

ISBN-13: 9781844289479

Number of pages: 224

Dimensions: 16.4 x 12.8 x 3.2 cm

Retail Price: €7.49

Book Level: 5
AR Points: 5
Interest Level: MY

  • €7.00

Book Details

Product Description
'This tender fable of peace will linger with both younger and older readers.' - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

One morning in France during World War I, two young sisters stumble upon an astonishing find in the woods: a soldier who has walked away from battle longing to see his ailing younger brother. As the girls care for the soldier, he repays them by telling four tales about a humble donkey - from the legend of Bethlehem to a myth of India, from a story of rescue in war to a tale of family close to the soldier's heart.

A Book Sense Children's Pick

A Junior Library Guild Selection

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY starred review

The Washington Post - Elizabeth Ward
The setting is rural France during World War I, and the man in the woods English soldier fleeing 'the unspeakable trenches.' He is also blind, a fact that fascinates the girls almost as much as the tiny silver donkey that 'twinkled and glimmered' in his hand. They and their brother take care of him, and he, in return, tells them the tales of four donkeys, including the one that once carried a woman to Bethlehem. The small beasts become the book's quiet heroes, emblems of patience, trustworthiness and bravery. Self-centered Marcelle, Coco and Pascal don't remotely become saints-the emotionally fastidious Hartnett appears to be incapable of writing a sentimental sentence&151;but one closes the book sure that they have in some vague way been blessed by these revelations of the donkey's 'peaceful grace.' Certainly, that is an apt description of Hartnett's lapidary style.

Publishers Weekly
Hartnett's (Surrender) latest offering, set in France during the Great War, is at once delicately told and deeply resonant. When two sisters, eight-year-old Coco and 10-year-old Marcelle, discover a blind and hungry soldier in the woods, they befriend him, bringing blankets and bits of food that can be pilfered from their meager pantry. The girls are delighted with their secret soldier, and Coco is particularly enchanted with his good luck charm, a silver donkey. They are reluctant to tell anyone about this unhappy man in the forest until they realize they alone cannot help him return to his home across the channel-his one desire after all he has seen in the war. They enlist the help of their older brother, Pascal, whom they believe is clever enough to hatch a plan. In turn, the soldier tells the children allegorical tales about honesty, loyalty, courage and kindness drawn from the Bible, folklore and his own life-all featuring a donkey. Though Pascal yearns to hear about the 'riveting adventures from the war,' the soldier's story of a donkey's sacrifice and goodness in battle conveys a wholly different message. The novel's nostalgic tone evokes the period but also delivers a timely message. This tender fable of peace will linger with both younger and older readers. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Children's Literature
During World War One, two little sisters in France are astounded when they find a soldier in the woods near their home. When they realize he is alive and hungry, they secretly bring him food and supplies. Before long, they reluctantly include their older brother in their secret. They want to help the lieutenant get back home across the Channel. Not only is he a stranger in a strange land, he is psychologically blinded by his war experiences. The lieutenant has served honorably and bravely, saving many soldiers from certain death. The soldier is a good storyteller and entertains the children with many tales based on morality and great values. Readers will be interested to learn how the children are successful in helping the soldier return to his homeland. The lieutenant has a small, silver donkey, which he tells them is his lucky charm. Coco, the younger sister, loves the little silver donkey and when the lieutenant leaves, he hides it in a secret place for her. The children are sad when he leaves, but happy that he can go home to his family and sick younger brother. The aesthetic qualities of this book include th"