The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett

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Synopsis

From extraordinary novelist Sonya Hartnett comes a gently told fable of a lost soldier, heroic children, and a steadfast donkey.



One morning in the woods of World War I France, two young sisters stumble upon an astonishing find — a soldier, temporarily blinded by war, who has walked away from battle longing to see his gravely ill younger brother. Soon the care of the soldier becomes the girls' preoccupation, but it's not just the secret they share that emboldens them to steal food and other comforting items for the man. They are fascinated by what he holds in his hand — a tiny silver donkey. As the girls and their brother devise a plan for the soldier's safe passage home, he repays them by telling four wondrous tales about the 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. Sonya Hartnett explores rich new territory in this inspiring tale of kindness, loyalty, and courage.
 

About Sonya Hartnett

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Sonya Hartnett is the winner of the 2008 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest award for lifetime achievement in children's and youth literature. Her novels with Candlewick include Thursday's Child, What the Birds See, Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf, The Silver Donkey, The Ghost's Child, and Surrender, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. She lives in Australia.
 
Published February 11, 2014 by Candlewick. 272 pages
Genres: Travel, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Silver Donkey

Kirkus Reviews

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Marcelle and Coco, "two skinny, flash-eyed little girls, wild as kittens born under stables," aged ten and eight respectively, discover a blind British soldier, an army deserter, in the woods near their French village.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Silver Donkey

Publishers Weekly

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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

Nov 13 2006 | Read Full Review of The Silver Donkey

The Guardian

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The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett, illustrated by Laura Carlin 224pp, Walker Books, £7.99 I showed my copy of Sonya Hartnett's new gem to a class of nine and 10-year-olds in a school where I was working recently.

Jan 13 2007 | Read Full Review of The Silver Donkey

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Nov 13 2006 | Read Full Review of The Silver Donkey

The Bookbag

The donkey is the central character in each of the soldier's tales - one concerns the donkey bearing Mary to Bethlehem, another tells of the famous stretcher bearer at Gallipoli, John Simpson Kirkpatrick, and his donkey of a hundred names.

Nov 23 2014 | Read Full Review of The Silver Donkey

Monsters and Critics

With stories stretching the ages, from the donkey which carried Mary to Bethlehem to a donkey helping to save lives on a battlefield the tales capture the imagination.

Jan 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Silver Donkey

KidsReads

In return, the soldier tells them wonderful stories that are all inspired by a tiny silver donkey figurine --- a treasured keepsake given to him by his brother.

Sep 11 2007 | Read Full Review of The Silver Donkey

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May 22 2006 | Read Full Review of The Silver Donkey

Reader Rating for The Silver Donkey
80%

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