Silent To The Bone

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Review By Mr. Drum

January, 2008

The book Silent to the Bone by E.L. Konigsburg was entertaining, interesting and well written. The premise is that a boy named Branwell refuses to speak after a tragic incident happens in his home and his baby sister is hospitalized. The story is told through the voice of Branwell’s best friend, Connor, who is trying to help unravel the mystery of what happened to the baby.

I enjoyed this book because I couldn’t predict exactly what was going to happen. The mystery was solved in bits and pieces along the way, and the end satisfied me completely by revealing the whole story. The writing style carried me along. The characters make up names for everything, which is both funny and adds more flavor to their characters. On page 20 Connor is describing Branwell’s family. “He calls his mother’s parents The Ancestors,” is an example of the characters naming people in interesting ways. Later on the same page the author continues describing Branwell’s family. “Branwell spent every July with them at the Lovely Condominium, which is the name he has given to the place where they live.”

Another great thing about this book is the relationship between Connor and his half-sister, Margaret, who helps Connor solve the mystery. Connor and Margaret become closer as they help each other, and Margaret starts to work on her issues with her father. Margaret is the kind of big sister I’d like to have, because she’s smart and cool, but also not perfect.
The only negative was that the main characters seem to be rare individuals. I have never met anyone like them, and they seem a little too sophisticated to be real. Still, I like stories that show kids thinking in complex ways, and these two boys are very complex.

I recommend this to anyone who likes mystery. It is also a good book for anyone beginning puberty issues because the boys are starting to deal with sexual issues. I have read other books by this author and will definitely read more. Finally, I will always remember a game the boys played in the book: SIAS, which means “Say it in a Sentence.” SIAS: This book is hard to put down; you’ll love it. (370 words).

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