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Silent to the Bone
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Silent to the Bone

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  4,729 ratings  ·  412 reviews

Speechless

Connor is sure his best friend, Branwell, couldn't have hurt Branwell's baby half sister, Nikki. But Nikki lies in a coma, and Branwell is in a juvenile behavioral center, suspected of a horrible crime and unable to utter the words to tell what really happened. Connor is the only one who might be able to break through Branwell's wall of silence. But how can h

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Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published October 3rd 2000 by Listening Library (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Josiah
"I don't think there is any feeling I like more than the one that someone is glad to see me."

--Connor Kane, "Silent to the Bone", P. 51

"I'm not sure that love and like aren't like cats and dogs: One can't grow up to be the other, but they can be taught to live under the same roof."

--Connor Kane, P. 74

My expectations for E.L. Konigsburg are always as high (or higher) than those I have for any other writer, and I have never known her to let me down. She did not disappoint in "Silent to the Bo
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Jessica
Connor's precocious friend Branwell suddenly stopped talking the day Bran's baby sister was injured and the babysitter blamed it on him. While little Nikki is in the hospital in a coma, Bran is sent to a juvenile detention center, and Connor visits him every day to try to develop ways to communicate so that they can get to the bottom of the mystery of what really happened that day.

The book is well-written and engaging, and I bought everything except for the overarching premise that a 13-year-old
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Susan
An incredibly well written book, it drew me in very quickly, as I really wanted to know what had happened...but as it went on , I realized that it was probably leading where it did eventually lead...to modern immorality causing havoc in people's lives. (Hence the three stars rating - the writing deserved five stars.) I wouldn't want my tween/teen boys reading this book, it is graphic enough, and they don't need ANY additional influence of that, (although it is probably somewhat milder by today's ...more
Nora Nerius
This is a more mature read than I initially thought. However, it was that maturity that made me really enjoy this book. The friendship between Connor and Branwell is one that is very admirable. Connor never allows the thought that his best friend could have hurt his sister into his mind at any point. The persistence to get him to talk and make him feel better makes Connor so likable as a character. Branwell's guilt and the struggle he endures wishing his sister gets better as well as knowing the ...more
Casey
E.L. Konigsburg really comes through with this one. Beware, this isn't a book for younger readers. Branwell- a slightly odd, very precocious child- stops talking the day he calls 911. His sister Nikki is in a coma, and the au pair (the icky Vivian) explains that Bran shook and then dropped her. Bran is put in a juvenile detention center, and it's up to his best friend, Connor, to develop a code and find out what really happened that day.

This book is really, really good.
Summer Turner
Quite a page turner!

I read this book because it is one of the few by E.L. Konigsburg that I have never read. I found it in a book store years ago and started to read it, but never picked it up again until yesterday.

I love how the author interweaves her stories. This book is connected to several of her other works, such as "The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place" and "The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World," in a very subtle, realistic way. I enjoy making those connections and see the pieces fit tog
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Monica!
I'm having a Reread sort of month, apparently, and here's another one to add to the list, hooray!

But first--the "mystery" in this book isn't all that mysterious, but I'm going to SPOILER ALERT you to it just in case.

So. Of course it's Vivian the crappy au pair who was in such a hury to have sex with the pizza delivery boy that she dropped her infant charge. Clearly she had seduced poor thirteen-year-old Branwell in an incredibly creepy and INCREDIBLY INAPPROPRIATE way, because she's a horrible
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Samanthagranito
The book, Silent To the Bone, by E.L. Konigsburg has many exciting lines that leave me with suspense, and make me never want to stop reading. From the minute I read the first line in the book, to the last line in the book, I was always engaged in the reading. On the first page, Conner says, “ It is easy to pinpoint the minute when my friend Branwell began his silence. It was Wednesday, November 25th, 2:43P.M., eastern standard time. It was there-or I guess you could say not there-on the tape of ...more
Jodi Papazian
Silent to the Bone has been tempting me for a few years now. It is on the school summer reading list and I try to familiarize myself with a handful of them throughout the year.
I found this book to be highly engaging. After a near-death experience involving his baby sister, Branwell finds himself struck silent. Due to incriminating evidence from the au pair, Vivian, everyone is led to believe that this is due to Branwell's guilt believing that he had something to do with the incident. The only
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Leena Ali
This book is about a13 year old guy named Branwell, he has a dad, step-mom and step-sister. When his sister was 3 months old, she was sleeping and he was standing beside her and somehow she fell out of her bed and he got blamed for it. And then when he called 911, the police man said Hello like 5 times and then anyone there and the mother said tell him what happened, hurry, we need the ambulance fast. But Branwell couldn't speak. He was disable. The doctor and his parents thought he was taking a ...more
Corine
Silent to the Bone Alddin paperbacks, 2002, 261pp,. $5.99

e.l. Konigsburg ISBN 0-689-83602-3

Imagine you cradling your half baby sister in your arms, looking into her new born baby eyes, enjoying the moment, then all of a sudden you drop her. You run to call 911, you open your mouth…but nothing comes out. This is what happened to Branwell Zamborska. Since that tragic day, Branwell hasn’t talk since. His sister’s suffering from a coma and if he doesn’t speak up now he could be convicted for mansla
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Rachel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carrie
In Silent to the Bone, E. L. Konigsburg (author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) examines communication in relationships, and what gets lost when we do not speak. The book opens with a mysterious 911 call. This call reveals that 13-year-old Branwell Zamborska is struck dumb during the same incident that puts Nikki, his baby half-sister, in a coma. The British au pair is the only other known person who witnessed the incident and can vocalize what happened, and her finger p ...more
Pauline
"Silent to the Bone" deals with a number of issues; it confronts divorce, friendship, sexual attraction, parent and child relationships, second marriages and child abuse.

The book starts with a 911 call and the caller cannot speak, Branwell Zamborska is struck dumb from the moment he makes the call. Something traumatic has happened and now Branwell is silent to the bone.

Branwell's baby sister suffers from encephalitis and Branwell is blamed for causing the harm. Connor who is Branwell's friend kn
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Rebecca
In this haunting, layered mystery, Branwell Zamborska is struck mute after his baby sister is injured while he and the au pair are in the house. Only his best friend Connor is able to communicate with Branwell to try to unravel what really happened -- both on that fateful day, and in the weeks leading up to it. Connor feels Branwell is innocent, but until Branwell decides to speak, nothing can be proven.

I read this on a plane and it kept me turning pages. Great cover, great dialogue, and excell
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Heather
Branwell stops speaking after something happens to his baby sister that makes her go into a coma. His best friend, Connor, devises a method through flashcards and blinking in which Branwell can communicate with him. The mystery of what happened between Branwell, the baby, and the au pair is revealed little by little as Connor works to free his best friend from silence.

Totally great. This book approaches a few subjects that are really hard for teenage and preteen boys to talk about.
Cheryl
I enjoyed this intense mystery after I read The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place. Totally not necessary to read both, in either order, except that they're both so very good. The kids are a little too pure of spirit, and the humor a little too subtle - do realize that Konigsburg doesn't coddle the reader. If you're ready for something thoughtful, read these.
Mr. Holt
I was on the verge of rating "Silent to the Bone" by E.L. Konigsburg five stars. For most of the novel, I was enthralled, using all of my free time to read instead of checking email or hanging out in the Faculty Room. It was that awesome. Then, the end, which is what I had been reading for all along, left me feeling a bit let down. I was expecting something greater. The twists and turns of the story led me to expect something bittersweet and haunting. Instead, I got the truth, which made sense, ...more
A.M.
In a new world of blended families where parents sometimes die, sometimes divorce, sometimes remarry and worst of all sometimes have new babies, where does the older child fit?
Branwell Zamborska and Connor Kane have been best friends for a very long time. They have a lot in common; they are both quirky. Like a lot of kids in the town, their parents work at the university. Their fathers are a genetics professor and the university Registrar respectively, their mothers are PhD holding lab assistant
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Aj the Ravenous Reader
A short but interesting story that tackles a social problem in an intriguing manner. The title signifies what has happened to the main character because he seems to have lost his ability to talk after witnessing a terribly shocking incident between their au pair and his baby sister for which he was blamed and accused of.

This is also a story of loyalty and friendship which eventually led to the truth in the end of the story.
Lauren (Likes Literature)
This review will be quicker than I'd like.


I had very high expectations for this book, having read and loved two of this author's previous works. However, this book wasn't as emotionally complex as those other two, and it was atrociously predictable. I skimmed it because I could tell everything that was going to happen by about chapter 3. The book attempts to deal with some pretty heavy topics (view spoiler) but it seemed superficial and too simplistic.
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Emily
Another teenage/children's book- what can I say, they are like comfort food. Comfort reading? I'd only picked this up because I remember liking From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweller, about kids living in a museum in New York City; I never realized the author had written other books. This one was really good.
Kari Lynn
Silent to the Bone, by E.L. Konigsburg is the second book that I have read in the past few weeks that involves the main character who has withdrawn from using the spoken word. We live in a world where people communicate by speaking, the main characters in both of the novels were voiceless. This type of protest, avoidance or inability to speak-up fascinates me. I cannot imagine my life without the spoken word or loss of my voice.

In Silent to the Bone, Branwell Zamborska is a teen-ager whose voic
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Ashley
This was a great book. The only mystery novel that I have ever read. Its about these two boys. One of them, his baby sister gets injured really badly, and no one knows what happens. The boy wont say a thing and is put into an institution. The other boy, the best friend, is forced to investigate himself what happen.
Sylvia
Thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech after being wrongly accused of injuring his baby half-sister, and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what happened.
What I learned, never accused a child of anything. Just ask, because children would never lie.
Michelle
My son read this with me. We still read together (he's 11). We both usually have another going on our own. All this to say, this has some adult material in it and I was glad we read it together because it inspired some good conversations about puberty and the stuff that comes with it. Fabulous book.
Kelly
Aug 24, 2007 Kelly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle schoolers
Shelves: juvenile
In the middle of making a 911 call, Branwell is struck mute. With his injured baby sister comatose, Branwell being held responsible: if she dies, he's going down for manslaughter. It's up to his friend, Connor, to figure out what happened.

Even though I thought I knew the ending, I couldn't put it down.
Maria
I just bought this book at a thrift store. It was hardback, by E.L. Konigsburg, and looked like it have never been read. It was excellent. I wish this was the kind of book my little sister would have read when she was younger. Oh well, she can always read it now, I did.
Beth Gordon
Very good. I liked how Connor unraveled the mystery about Branwell and his sister Nikki along with the au pair's story. I was a little taken aback by how mature the kids seemed to be. They acted more like 40 than young teenagers.
Zoe Kauffman
I loved the book. It was a mysteriously sad book.The book is a story about a boy who stops talking after his little sister gets hurt.His best friend then tries to figure out why he stopped talking.
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This book is really intense 11 69 Feb 26, 2014 10:22AM  
Character anaylis 2 12 Mar 09, 2012 06:30PM  
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. She was the only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year (1968), with her second and first books respectively: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Kongisburg won a second Newbery ...more
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“I don't think there is any feeling I like more than the one that someone is glad to see me.

—Connor Kane”
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“Talk was like the vitamins of our friendship: Large daily doses kept it healthy.” 19 likes
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