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1 Burnside Children's Middle Readers- General

The Silver Donkey

by and

The Silver Donkey Cover




"Who's there?" cried the man, and then repeated it in a language that the sisters understood. "Qui est là? Who's there?"

He looked toward Marcelle and Coco and must have seen two skinny, flash-eyed little girls, wild as kittens born under stables, the taller dressed in her brother's hand-me-downs, the smaller rumpled as a street urchin - but then he looked to the moldery soil and up into the trees, and behind himself toward the distant sea. . . . He scrambled backward in the dirt, covering his knees in mud. "Who is there?" he asked again.

Marcelle and Coco stared. . . . "It's just us," said Marcelle. "No one else."

The man stopped scrabbling and became very still. . . . "I can't see you," he said nervously. "I'm blind. Who are you?"

. . . The girls, emboldened, peered more closely at their discovery, stepping from the shadows like fawns. They saw that the man had untidy brown hair and that his face was rather dirty. Coco, who had a sparrow's quick eyes, saw that he held something silver and enticing in his palm, something that twinkled and gleamed. . . . "I'm Marcelle," she told him. "I'm ten. This is my sister, Coco. She's eight. Her real name is Thérèse, but everybody calls her Coco."

. . . "Are you a soldier?" asked Coco unexpectedly.

The man hunkered against the tree. "Why do you ask that?"

"Well, you are a bit like a solider. You have a soldier's blanket and a soldiers' boots. And once there were soldiers who slept a night in our village and they spoke in a funny way, the same way you do."

"It's called an accent," said Marcelle with superiority.

The man was fidgeting, casting his blind gaze about. The fascinating silver thing remained closed in his hand, gleamy as a fishhook, hidden as a jewel. He said, "I am a solider - well, I used to be. I'm not one anymore."


Product Details

Sonya Hartnett and Don Powers
Powers, Don
Hartnett, Sonya
Powers, Don
Conduct of life
World War, 1914-1918
Fairy Tales & Folklore - General
Fairy Tales & Folklore - Single Title
Children s-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 5
7.38 x 5.2 x 1 in 1.075 lb
Age Level:

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Children's » Middle Readers » General

The Silver Donkey Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Candlewick Press (MA) - English 9780763629373 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In this poignant and captivating story, two sisters find a wounded soldier in the woods. They take care of him, and in return, he tells them four beautiful tales about a humble donkey. This is a moving story of war and peace, devotion and compassion—the perfect story for adults and children to read together.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , This gently told fable of a lost soldier, heroic children, and a steadfast donkey explores rich territory in a tale of kindness, loyalty, and courage.
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