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The Silver Crown

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,726 ratings  ·  199 reviews
The Silver Crown explores the issues of good and evil in an original way, and raises many issues about relationships and the nature of love.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Barn Owl Books (first published 1960)
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This book haunted my childhood memories for years, a mysterious specter, the title of which I couldn't recall. What incomplete details I had retained eventually proved adequate for discovery on the internet. Once I identified the text, it lingered in my unconscious until I happened to be in the juvenile fiction section of the public library one day in my mid 30s. Browsing an aisle, I turned around and saw the title on the spine before me, a spooky beacon of serendipity, as I had not been looking ...more
Vivid memories of the effect this book had on me when my teacher Mrs Leish read this to us in grade four - and finding the edition I had then, a photo-realist painting of Ellen wearing the silver crown itself, her blue eyes unblinking as she enters into a trance - made me dare to read it again.

Let's face it, going back to your taste in grade four often is a big no-no.

I choreographed a dance to "angel in the centrefold" around that time. I studied ballet in the sense it was compulsory at my gent
Going through some old assignments, I discovered an old book report I wrote on this book when I was about twelve years old. Here is an excerpt-
The Silver Crown is one of the best books I have read. The descriptions used by the author were stunning in that they transported you there, following after Ellen as she went on her journey. Ellen is a very strong heroine. She still makes her share of mistakes, and she is someone almost anyone would want for a friend. I first borrowed this book from the l
I dunno about other readers that have read this story, but I thought The Silver Crown was scary! The main character’s house gets mysteriously burned down, her family killed, a creepy man stalks her, ( minor spoilers??? -->) (view spoiler) Nobody can help them either, not even the police! Surely I can’t be the only one ...more
Review posted at by Laura Lynn:

My kids and I recently read “The Silver Crown” by Robert C. O’Brien and loved it. Intended for kids 8 and older, “The Silver Crown” is the story of Ellen who wakes up on her tenth birthday to find a silver crown on her pillow.

As Ellen already believes she is a queen, she takes the gift in stride and proudly wears it to the park. Events from that moment on are not what she expects. Her house burns down, sh
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NiMH was a favorite book of mine growing up. The Silver Crown has long been out of print and I was anxious to see if I would like this novel as well as NiMH. I started reading and was hooked by the end of the first chapter!

When Ellen Carrol wakes on her tenth birthday to find a silver crown on her pillow, she leaves the house without waking her family and walks to her favorite spot in the park where she pretends to be a queen. That is, until she hears fire engines sto
Fun and well-written. The writing is subtle and simple at the same time. I probably would've lost my mind for this when I was a kid. I enjoyed The Silver Crown very much.

A couple things bother me:
When the Big Bad Evil is revealed it's linked to then-contemporary real-world events like race riots and violence in Chicago. I'm ruminating but since I just finished the book a few minutes ago I'm not sure how to articulate why this bothers me so much. But it totally does.

"Chinaman," "Moslem hordes,"
I was surprisingly charmed by this children's book and wish I had discovered it when I was ten years old!

Despite the fact that Ellen is witness to the death of her entire family by fire, a bank robbery and a homicide within the first two chapters (!), it is good reading for the ages of 8 to 12 (and possibly older).

A mix of Ender's Game, The Lord of the Rings and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, this book was more forward thinking and less saccharine than most children's novels of the 1960's
I remember picking this book up my last day of elementary school all old books were lined up on stage in the cafeteria I guess if the books weren't taken they were going to be destroyed or I don't know what was going to happen to them .well anyway I remember picking this book up and loving the description so I took it home with me .If you are looking for a book that has a sort of eerie but childlike fantasy about it this is the book for you .It scared me as a child but fascinated me too .I want ...more
I really really really enjoyed reading this book. David went and picked it up from the is a book that his 5th grade teacher read to him and he remembered really liking it, so we decided to go pick it up and read it and see if it was something we would recommend for my brother to read. it definitely is! It was a very captivating read, and kept me interested up until the end. Some of the events are a bit strange, and the ending didn't have quite the pizzaz that I was expecting but ove ...more
I really love this book. I first fell in love when I was around Ellen's age when I first read the book. For me this was one of those books that I repeatedly borrowed from the library and would read it over and over. I was recently reminded of this book and now finally own my own copy. Reading it again as an adult did not disappoint. The story is beautifully crafted and the adventure/mystery really pulls you in. I was disappointed with the alternate ending that apparently was written for
Benjamin Thomas
I have this thing about not having read every single book that is on my shelves at home so I couldn't very likely say no to this one. It was part of my kid's homeschooling program years ago as recommended by the curriculum we were it must be good right?

While often disappointed in what others say young people must read to further their exposure to literature, this time I wasn't. I found this novel to be a fairly straight forward tale of adventure and fantasy with a young female pro
This book was not at all what I expected, but I really enjoyed it! I love the author's writing style- concise and careful in it's construction. Each vivid word placed in the sentence just so, in order to paint the picture. Sometimes it feels like you are reading poetry, even though it's prose.

The overall mood of this book is gloomy and mystical with a sense of urgency. I can see why it is compared to LotR, although the plot and characters are nothing like LotR. I would compare it more to Wrinkl
Ash Krafton
Feb 03, 2013 Ash Krafton rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ash by: Bought it at a yard sale for a quarter
Shelves: middle-grade
Why am I giving this book 5 stars? Because, quite simply...thirty years after first reading it, I still think about it.

It made that great of an impression on me. I didn't understand all the words and I couldn't even pronounce a bunch of them but, every once in a while, I think of that little girl when she puts the crown on her head and she BECOMES a queen.

That's all. A grown-up rememberance of a children's book. I'll never forget it.

Five stars for staying power.
Rachel Dawson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I randomly remembered this one day as a book I loved reading in 5th grade. It has recently been re-printed, so I was able to buy it and read it again.

This is still pretty good, but it was INCREDIBLE when I was 11 years old. I had a great school librarian that year, and I still enjoy re-reading the books she recommended to me all those years ago. I wish I could re-connect with her and thank her.
Rosanna Ramos
This is a wonderful rare book i got the pleasure to read when i was a child. It shaped who i was, i even bought a silver headband with little diamonds in it and walked around pretending i was the girl in the book. It is one of the best fantasy novels i ever read, so much that i had to search to find it again even after so many years.
This was a simple book. Very simple. I hesitate to criticize its simplicity because it is clearly aimed toward pre-teen audiences, but then isn't the Harry Potter series a set of children's books? The plot is jerky and uneven, the character development is nonexistent, and the premise is hastily explained and even more hastily wrapped up. I'm not sure that even ten-year-old me would have been satisfied with how quickly the "Machine" storyline was unraveled. The ending was even more sloppily done, ...more
I loved this book as a child. It was read aloud to me at school and I read it on my own several times as well. I don't know what made me think of it now but I hope to reread it as an adult sometime soon.
Saz Gee
There are some books that make you shudder inside when you come across them again, years on from when you read them as a kid. I think this was the first book to spark off my obsession with apocalyptic themes, and children fending for themselves in a world without adults. Z for Zachariah, Brother in the Land, the Silver Crown - all these books spoke to me in a way which I couldn't articulate then. I had no idea what was inspiring them at the time (post Cold War) and it was irrelevant really, but ...more
Ilaria Tomasini
Libro per ragazzi carino, ma ho trovato piuttosto sgradevoli i due protagonisti: sia Otto che Ellen mi sono sembrati piuttosto superficiali e privi di sentimenti.
Ellen perde genitori e fratelli nell'incendio eppure per tutto il romanzo si comporta come se non fosse successo nulla di grave e che l'unico problema derivante dalla perdita della famiglia sia l'essere rimasta sola. Non una lacrima, non un punto della storia in cui sente la mancanza dei genitori o dei fratelli...
Otto invece sembra non
Wonderful book for young female readers that dream of saving the world.
One of my favorite books from age 9 - 11.
Ms. Library
Where Did I Get this book/how did I find about this book?: I just picked it up at a used book store, and it looked interesting;)

Plot: On her 10th birthday, Ellen awakes to find a silver crown on her pillow. She puts it on, and she knows it is special. She goes for a walk, and when she comes back, everything has changed. Her house has burned down, and her family is missing. There are mysterious men chasing her, clothed in black and green. She has to find her Aunt Sarah, escape the men, and figure
Liesl Shurtliff
Ellen awakens one her birthday and receives a mysterious silver crown. Then her house burns down and her family disappears. When Ellen attempts to get help from the police and her aunt, she learns that someone desperately wants her and the silver crown.

I wish I had known of this book when I was a kid because I would have adored it. I enjoyed it as an adult, but since my imagination has been slightly warped by realism and logic, it likely wasn't as magical and adventurous as it would have been w
Sarah Aly
Dec 29, 2007 Sarah Aly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Want To Go On An Adventure
Shelves: favorites
This is my number one favorite book. I read it such a long time ago that I even forgot alot of it. All I know is that I really liked it and I know anyone who reads it will too!

"It lay beside her on the pillow, shinier than silver, glowing softly, with twinkling blue stones set all around....It did not occur to her to wonder from whom it had come; she was merely aware that it was hers by right."

Ellen awakens on her tenth birthday to discover a silver crown on her pillow. She delightedly wears he
I read this book during a rare period of my life where I had the tolerance to read bad books to the bitter end.

The plot line of "Silver Crown" unfolds as a random series of events that happen without build up or explanation. What seems at first to be a magic centric, fantasy novel winds up as another genre entirely by the end (which is as much as I can say without spoilers).

Fortunately, the main character is the world's most unemotional and level-headed ten-year-old, who takes tragedies like th
Book Club Mom
I really enjoyed this children’s book. My sixth-grader was reading it in school and I decided to read it also.

It’s a story of 10-year-old Ellen who, on her birthday, wakes up to find a jeweled crown on her pillow. Before her family wakes up, Ellen puts the crown in her purse and sneaks out of her house to walk to a nearby park. Soon after, she hears sirens and discovers that her house has burned to the ground and her family is nowhere to be found. And thus begins her journey to find her Aunt Sar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When I was in the fourth grade, I remember, my teacher read this book to our class every Friday afternoon for a month. For years I awknowledge It as my favorite book and recommended it to many people. Finally, almost 15 years later I decided to revisit the story, this time reading it myself. Although it is a very interesting book, with a dystopian genre that is very popular today, I did not enjoy it as much as I did when I was nine. To me, it seemed the author made things sound wonderfully myste ...more
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Robert Leslie Conly (better known by his pen name, Robert C. O'Brien) was an American author and journalist for National Geographic Magazine.

For more information, please see
More about Robert C. O'Brien...
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats of NIMH, #1) Z for Zachariah A Report from Group 17 Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH: A study guide for grades 4-8 The Secret Of NIMH

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“C'était, pensa-t-elle, comme un doux peigne passant dans son cerveau, redressant les pensées et défaisant les nœuds.” 1 likes
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