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The Silver Donkey
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The Silver Donkey

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  747 ratings  ·  85 reviews
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 soldie
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Candlewick (first published January 1st 2004)
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Apparently simple, but so beautifully done, with lovely and haunting writing. There are some sad scenes--some very sad--but I thought it was really a very moving book. Not everyone will agree with all the points, I think, but it was very touching and well-done.
Sep 20, 2007 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody who enjoys little stories with big effects
simply magic!

the language makes you want to read it out loud - poetry. I especially enjoyed the tail of the donkey on the mountain.

and i found out later that it also includes a Christmas tale!
Virginia Walter
Sonya Hartnett just received the Astrid Lindgren prize, an award that carries a large cash prize along with the honor. I had never read anything by this Australian author so I put in some reserveds at LAPL. This was the first book to come through. It is nearly an allegory, a story about an English soldier who has been blinded not by a physical wound but by the trauma of the sights he has seen in the trenches and on no-man's land. He has deserted the battlefield and is trying to get across the En ...more
Gloria Jorquera
This book was great! It had everything a book “needed" to have. Although some people might not share my opinion, some parts touched me.. i admit I cried :)
5/5 This book is simply magical. It taps deep down to the core of being a child and learning the values of life. I really liked this book so much. For it did not only made feel luke a child again but made me think whats more important other than self. I feel very lucky to have accidentaly found this one in a second hand bookstore in delicately immaculate condition. It is as good as new. Moreover, the story itself is a hidden gem. Worth reading and passing to others. ;)
Karen & Gerard
The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett with illustrations by Don Powers is juvenile historical fiction about two young girls who befriend a soldier they come across in the woods near their home. He is blind and needs to get home to his sick brother. This is a wonderful book for all ages, young and old. I got into it right away and the stories that the soldier tells the young girls are really, really good! This is the kind of book you could read again and again! That being said, it is my book of the ...more
A gentle story set against the backdrop of World War I in France tells of a blind, emotionally battered soldier who leaves the battlefields behind. He is found in a nearby wood by 2 young sisters who befriend him and do their best to assist him. He is determined to return to England, across the Channel, to see his younger brother who is very ill. The sisters come to realize they will need more help and take their older brother into their confidence. He comes up with a plan which will require the ...more
Jun 25, 2012 Olivia added it
I picked up a first edition, signed by the author, haven't read it yet but I love Sonya Hartnett and do think she is a seminal Australian writer, who will be remembered forever.
Lovely read. Will have to reread for further analysis for my university requirements, which I don't mind at all!
Donna Siebold
Two young girls in France come across a soldier. He is blind and they help him with food and blankets. He has deserted and is trying to get home to his young brother, who is dying.

The girls enlist the help of their brother and his friend and they manage to help the soldier cross the English Channel and head for his home. By the time he leaves he has begun to regain some of his sight. Its loss was apparently psychosomatic.

I enjoyed the stories of the donkey that the soldier told the girls, but ot
Yajur jayaprakash
was mind blowing! made me cry...
I have read books about mice and rats, cats and dogs, squirrels and horses - but this was the first book celebrating the uniqueness of donkeys. And I loved it! It has changed my whole attitude and perspective about these animals which I so far considered stubborn and difficult to handle. I loved how the author interspersed the main plot with individual little stories about donkeys. Overall, a touching, thought-provoking and beautifully told story about courage, bravery and friendship set during ...more
The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett is about two young French girls, Marcelle and her sister Coco, during World War One. One day, while walking through the forest, they stumble upon a soldier who had run away from the war to join his sick and dying little brother back in England. Lieutenant Shepard, the soldier, had slowly lost his ability to see while making the trek from the front lines of battle to the coast of France, and all he had to his name were the clothes on his back, his army-issue bo ...more
*Closes book slowly, making soft sniveling noises*
Um, this is really not the time to rephrase HISHE quotes but seriously - This is really deep for a kid's book.

The book, phrased for ages ten and up (maybe in Australia ten-year-olds are just super mature?), is set in a small village in France near the border of England, mid-WWI. Three siblings, a thirteen-year-old boy named Pascal and his two younger sisters, Marcelle and Coco, discover an English soldier on the desertion-run. The blind man tells
This book Is about two sisters Coco – eight years old and Marchelle - 10 years old. When they were walking home from school one afternoon they found a person in the forest with something shiny in his hand. As it turned out the man that the two sisters had found a soldier to be exact a lieutenant. He had run away from world war 1 to see his little brother who has been terribly sick. Coco and Marchelle promise to keep him a secret because if the wrong person found out about him they would tell the ...more
Imagine what it would be like to be at battle and lose all the people you came to love. And not only that, but to lose your vision too. In the book “The Silver Donkey” by Sonya Hartnett two little girls named Marcelle and Coco meat a soldier in the woods. He used to be a well-liked lieutenant, but when his men died and his vision left, he had to retreat home. There was a huge river he had to cross and because of his sight he needs these two girls and their brother to help him greatly. I liked t ...more
Ericah Odhiambo
I think it is an amazing book. Some parts are funny,some parts are sad when I read the book in school I almost cried at the end of the book that's how sad it was. I love how Sonya Hartnett put's the character's expression's in the book. It was a fantastic job. I can't say anything else, now that's how good and fantastic the book was. It was absolutely amazing. Now I'm just speechless, I can't say anything at all!!!!!

Great Job Sonya Hartnett Great Job!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Marie Voo

Again, another book I found at a dollar store. The title alone, The Silver Donkey, intrigued me. It had a sort of mystery to it, so I bought it.

This book is staged in the times of war. Where soldiers came home in a box or not at all. However, two sisters, Coca and Marcel come across this soldier in the woods. His clothes are torn looking. He is nestled by a tree with only a blanket to keep him company. The girls friend him and the stories within the book start from there.

A significant marker
A story-telling soldier, trying to go home in the midst of a war, is found in the woods by two children. This charming and mild book gives us at glimpse at his life and choices while the children try to decide what to do and how to help. Donkeys are the thread between the soldier's stories, teaching the children the qualities that make thoughtful and courageous adults.

I can't decide if it's children's literature or young adult literature. The writing isn't juvenile, just sparse and direct, and v
Brittany Lee
Genre- International
Grade Level- 3-4
Awards- Children's Book Council of Australia Award for Book of the Year: Younger Readers (2005), Canberra's Own Outstanding List (COOL) Awards for Fiction for Years7 - 9(2007),CBC Book of the Year Award: Younger Readers
This was a wonderful book discussing how two younger girls found a man from World War I in France and wanted to help him see his ill younger even though he was not in good shape himself. This book could be a way to teach the students how to help
Sofia D.
This book is the most beautiful book I have ever read. Its so unique because you really feel that it touches your heart. In this book their are many stories within it that the main character tells. It really makes you realize how awful war is. I recommend it to everyone, don't judge the book by the cover, its as good/better than any book you've ever read.
Charissa Ong ty
cest livre tres magnifique! j'aime ca.

This book is amazing, it sounds so much like a classic fairytale by the way it's written. It's about a Luteinant which escaped World war 1 and.. alright that's all I can say. It's just so beautifully written. I shall add this to my favorites too!
When I finished reading this book I was so glad Marcelle and Coco found the soldier in the woods because if they didn't find him he could be dead by now. First of all Marcelle and Coco thought that the soldier was dead but he was actually blind. Many of days past Marcelle and Coco helped the soldier by stealing food in their house. Coco kept on looking at the silver donkey on the soldiers other hand while he ate. After a few days, Coco kept on asking him for the silver donkey but it was time for ...more
Shandi Hibbert
The Silver Donkey is about two girls who come across a soldier in the forest during WWIi. The girls keep the soldier a secret and befriend him. He tells them a collection of stories about the bravery and loyalty of a donkey.
This story was cute. It's wasn't necessarily deep or awe inspiring, but I did really enjoy it. The stories about the donkey had great messages and I kept thinking about when I would use them in my life.
Spoilers: Rate 1-5. 1 being none and 5 being a lot.
Language: 1. I don't
Nicki Blomquist
It may be that I listened to this book on audio that I found myself not liking it very much. The French accent was difficult to get used to. If I find myself with another opportunity to read this book I will definitely pick it up and read it myself.

This story takes place in France during WWII. A soldier who has abandoned his unit is found by two little girls. The girls immediately want to take care of this blind, hungry man, who can't fend for himself. After a few days they realize their task i
this is the most beautiful well written books ive read in my short years i recomend it to who ever loves reading its a must read :D
Siblings in the French countryside are thrilled to discover a wounded soldier and war deserter in the woods near their home. As they secretly bring him food and help plan a way to get him safely back to his homeland England, he tells them stories inspired by the beautiful silver donkey he keeps in his pocket. This is a tender, quiet novel about bravery, compassion, the horrors of war, and hte healing of hearts. The black and white pencil sketches echo the rich language of the story in their simp ...more
This story was touching and written so beautifully that I wished for more. It is a short, fairly quick read, and so very worth it.
Chasity Jones
What a super book! Old fashioned and in a terrific setting.
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All About Animals: The Silver Donkey - Sonya Hartnett 2 3 Sep 18, 2013 06:35AM  
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  • Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril, and Romance
Sonya Hartnett (also works under the pseudonym Cameron S. Redfern) is, or was, something of an Australian child prodigy author. She wrote her first novel at the age of thirteen, and had it published at fifteen. Her books have also been published in Europe and North America. Her novels have been published traditionally as young adult fiction, but her writing often crosses the divide and is also enj ...more
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“They thought back on the tales that the soldier had told. They remembered Hazel, the gentle Bethlehem donkey, who used the last of her strength helping those who needed her. They remembered the donkey who stood on the mountain and accepted suffering so that others would not know pain. They remembered the donkey with a hundred names, the sturdy friend of Jack who proved that the most humble being can have the most courageous heart. They gazed at the soldier, who said, 'I fear that John will be sorry he gave the silver donkey to me. The silver donkey belongs to the trustworthy and the brave.” 1 likes
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