We Need Diverse Ya Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | June 11, 2015

    Michelle Goldberg: IMG How Authentic Is Modern Yoga?

    My decision to embark on The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West, began with a question. I'd... Continue »
    1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Children's Middle Readers- General

More copies of this ISBN

The Silent Boy


The Silent Boy Cover



Reading Group Guide

1. Katy is an innocent young girl. During the course of the book, we see certain events and people opening her eyes to the world. How does she react to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster and the San Francisco earthquake (and her mothers pregnancy)?

2. What events or people opened your eyes to the world when you were a young child? Was there a moment or an incident that changed your perspective forever? How did it change?

3. What are the various terms and euphemisms people use to refer to Jacob and his condition (for example, touched)? Why do different people use different words to describe him?

4. What do you think of when you hear the word asylum? How do you think attitudes toward people with a mental disorder have changed-or have they remained the same?-since Katys time? How would Jacob be treated today?

5. Like any child, Katy must sort out fact from fiction as she grows up. What do different people tell her about childbirth and birthmarks, for example? Did you ever believe something that now seems silly? Did you ever tell someone something false about the world that that person then believed?

6. Look back at the discussion Katy and her father have about Jacob and his hat (p. 134). What other “irrational” things do people do to make themselves feel protected or lucky? Do you have any habits or any things you are attached to that make you feel safe?

7. A photograph appears at the beginning of each chapter of this book-did you like that? How did it change your experience of reading the book? Why do you think the author chose to include photographs?

8. “I decided I could do it all, and would. I would go to college. Then I would become a doctor and would marry Austin Bishop and have children” (p. 119).

Katy wants to defy the stereotypes of her gender. What do you think it would have been like to be a woman in the early 1900s? How have things changed for women since then? Do women still face a different set of expectations and opportunities than men do?

9. If you were in Katys place, what would you learn from what happens to Jacob? Look back at the prologue. Why do you think Katy, as an old woman, still feels the need to tell this story?

10. Have you ever had to stand by while something you knew was wrong took place? Are some things just the way they have to be, or is there always a chance to fight for what you know is right?

Product Details

Lowry, Lois
Laurel Leaf
Lowry, Lois
Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Historical - United States - 20th Century
Social Issues - Friendship
Social Issues - Special Needs
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-Friendship
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
6.90x4.32x.56 in. .33 lbs.
Age Level:

Other books you might like

  1. Five Ancestors #02: The Monkey Used Trade Paper $3.95
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia
    Used Trade Paper $7.50
  3. Ghost Boy Used Mass Market $5.95
  4. Heaven Eyes Used Trade Paper $2.50
  5. The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again
    Used Mass Market $3.95
  6. The Giver
    Used Mass Market $3.50

Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » 20th Century
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Special Needs
Young Adult » General

The Silent Boy Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Laurel-Leaf Books - English 9780440419808 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in the early 1900s, Lowry's (Number the Stars) lyrical novel unspools at a leisurely pace through the eyes of Katy, who wishes to follow in the footsteps of her doctor father. As the narrator chronicles the pivotal year she turns nine, she describes the unlikely friendship she develops with a 'touched' farm boy. The author creates a compelling contrast in social dynamics through two sisters — Peg, hired by Katy's family, and Nell, hired by Katy's next-door neighbors. She outlines the disparities not only in the families' financial situations but also in the options available when Nell becomes involved with the son of her employers. When Katy befriends the girls' brother, Jacob, whom townspeople dismiss as an 'imbecile,' Katy discovers his sensitivity and skill with animals ('It was odd how Jacob never looked at me — his eyes were always to the side, or his face turned away, and he couldn't, or didn't, ever speak-but he communicated in his own ways'), a perception that makes her uniquely positioned to witness the book's terrible climax and to bring some compassion to the events. Historical events (the introduction of the automobile, the dangers of industrialization) unfold with immediacy, as revelations. Katy's awareness of a devastating fire at the mill, for instance, allows her to connect with the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York. Period photographs (selected by the author) lead and gracefully connect each chapter. The author balances humor and generosity with the obstacles and injustice of Katy's world to depict a complete picture of the turn of the 20th century. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Precocious Katy Thatcher comes to realize what a gentle, silent boy did for his family. He meant to help, not harm. It didnt turn out that way.

“The author balances humor and generosity with the obstacles and injustice of Katys world to depict a complete picture of the turn of the 20th century.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.