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The Naming of Tishkin Silk (Kingdom of Silk #1)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  257 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Griffin Silk is an uncommon boy, from an uncommon sort of family—but lately Griffin isn’t so sure that’s a good thing. If he were an ordinary boy, he wouldn’t have to worry about the secret in his heart and maybe he would understand why his mother and baby sister have gone away. When Griffin starts school and meets the spirited Princess Layla, a once-in-lifetime friend who ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published October 1st 2003)
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This book melted my heart, it was so sad
Susan Wight
It hasn’t been easy for Griffin Silk since his mother and baby sister went away. Formerly home educated, he has a rough entry into school, where he is teased for being different. He hopes that his mother will return and fears that she won’t and he wonders if somehow it was his fault that she left. But with the help of classmate Layla’s caring friendship, and his family, Griffin gains insights and inner strength, and he discovers the importance of receiving and offering love and support.
Home Ed
The Naming Of Tishkin Silk shows the life of a boy growing up in a big family and his struggles he has to over come. I really enjoyed tis book because of it's sweet tale and it is such a well written book. I recommend taking your time with this book so you can enjoy it as much as I did. This book show great friendship. This book would be suitable for 9-15 year-olds or anyone looking for a short, sweet story. The story tells the life of a family with open, loving minds. They see things differentl ...more
I literally want to hug this book and yes, I did cry. Griffin, the main character, comes from a magical family. He was named after a mythical beast, afterall. The story opens with him going to school for the first time ever. He's not fitting in so well and it's really hard because all of his other siblings are attending upper school. He's alone and way misunderstood. You soon discover that his mom and baby sister have disappeared. You don't know why, but you know that it's a great source of pain ...more
I read this as it is shortlisted for this years UKLA Book awards (7-11 years) and I wanted to see whether it would be suitable for my class.

It is the story of Griffin, the only boy in a large family. He has to start school as his mother can no longer home school him or his sisters. His unconventional upbringing makes him a target, but thanks to his friendship with Layla he is able to overcome his problems at school and come to terms with issues at home.

This book tackles sensitive issues in a gen
Anne Hamilton
This review is not just about The Naming of Tishkin Silk but two other books in The Kingdom of Silk series: Layla, Queen of Hearts and Perry Angel’s Suitcase.

Tender and lyrical prose, gentle and almost achingly poignant moments and a golden daffy-down-dilly air pervading the stories: make sure you grab your tissue box before reading the Kingdom of Silk series.

Although I've rated them highly, I admit to some doubts. Because I'm not sure these stories for children are aimed at the right age group.
Katie Day
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Like the character you meet on this book's opening pages, this is a truly "uncommon" short novel, the first in a series probably aimed at 8+. From unexpected characters, to serious themes (sudden infant death syndrome, unresolved grief), to sometimes astonishingly lyrical writing, this book is something different and beautiful. A gentle Australian setting adds further colour/richness to this moving exploration of friendship, sorrow, love and the need to acknowledge loss and grief.
Sarah W
When I picked up this book, I was expecting a fantasy novel based on what it looked like. What I found instead was the story of Griffin Silk, a boy forced to go to school for the first time as his mother can no longer homeschool him. His older sisters all go to different schools. There, a group of bullies led by Scott McAllister harass Griffin about his family, his appearance and everything. On the way home, the saddened boy makes a friend, a younger girl named Layla. They play and get into misc ...more
I think this was a slightly darker start than the rest of the series but it doesn't take away the beauty and the love that was poured into this book. This will forever and always be my favourite series of all time, I just wished I owned it. Glenda Millard is my favourite author, who excels in writing for both middle-grade and young adult. Honestly, I really really really loved the Kingdom of Silk series. I do believe the Naming of Tishkin Silk and Layla the Queen of Hearts were really good but t ...more
Victoria Whipple
What a beautiful story of an "uncommon" boy and his unconventional family. Griffin must attend the local school after years of homeschooling, because his mother has "gone away". At school, he faces ridicule by the resident bully, but he is befriended by a girl who appreciates his unique personality and his family. The reader is privy to Griffin's thoughts and feelings that are sensed but not necessarily addressed by some of the adults in his life. Griffin's voice is believable as a boy who has s ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roseamber Sumner
This is a book for all ages about a brave little boy in Australia who is part of a big family that has suffered a huge loss. I read it in one sitting and feel the richer for it and as if the rest of my day is charmed and full of compassion.
The Silk family are large and attuned to each other and the world around them. They live on the fringe a little, love to dress up, embrace imagination and surround themselves with animals and love.

Narrated by 8 yr old Griffin this sad, but celebratory, tale is an exceptional read.

Having just finished The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and finding it completely unsatisfactory as a story and with an unbelievable 9 yr old's voice The Naming of Tishkin Silk was a stunning contrast.

This is the only book
Heather Gallagher
This story unfolded so gently that it wasn't until halfway through that we realise a real tragedy has taken place. I enjoyed the whimsical feel of this story and loved Granny Silk.
This delicately treats some adult themes such as death and mental health issues. Perhaps read it yourself first before reading to young children. It does end happily.
Ashley D--
To be fair, I read the sixth one first so I already knew how this one would end before I started reading it. It lacked the emotional impact I thought it would have, which is part of why it doesn't have 5 stars. Also, the illustrations are cute, but kind of a mixture of Stephen Michael King's later illustrations and something by Quentin Blake.

I love the sensitive way Millard writes, and I like that the point of view shifts willy-nilly without being confusing. I'd definitely give these books to se
Marion Lucy
When I read this book to my girls (aged 7 and 9)I was struck by three main things:
1. It didn't matter how bad-tempered or over-tired my kids were at the beginning of a reading session, this book would soothe them.While reading out loud generally has this effect, Tishkin Silk took them to a particularly quiet and contemplative place.
2. I loved the creativity and originality in the story.
3. Glenda Millard has a beautiful knack for connecting to my senses: the story seeped onto my tongue and into
Dom Conlon
Beautiful, poetic and sensitive. I loved this.
In feel, it reminded me of Savvy, the slightly strange family and unique way of looking at the world. It's a touching little book. Griffin Silk goes to school for the first time and faces difficulties there for he's different. He finds a friend, however, who accepts him and his family for their eccentricities. With her support he's able to face the thing that hurts him most -- his baby sister and mother who have left him, each in her own way.
You will need lots of tissues!
Claudia  Fett
Griffin has to attend public school due to the fact that his mom is suffering from the loss of his baby sister. Griffin feels that he is somehow to blame. Griffin has a hard time fitting in at school until he is befriended by a kind girl named Layla. She helps Griffin find courage to secretly plan a Naming Party for his little sister and hope that his hospitalized mom will find the strength to come back home to her family. This book is for a mature individual in third, fourth or fifth grade.
This is my 2nd Kingdom of the Silk novel. I read another, out of order because it was nominated for the CBC awards this year. Loved the other so much, I thought I had better start at the beginning. Glenda Millard is amazing. She tackles some big topics - but so beautifully. Such slim novels - but such warmth. Once again - ENCHANTING.

March 2015. Have just re-read this novel. Gorgeous book. Such a delicate topic (infant death syndrome) handled with gossamer thread.
Clare Cannon
One of our reviewers read this and said it was beautiful, their review: What a simple yet touching story! About an “uncommon” boy and his loving family, the mother he misses terribly, and a genuine friend who helps to make it better again.

Written in an engaging style and interweaved with expressive illustrations, it was an Honour Book in the Children's Book Council 2004. A good read for children aged 9-12 but will most certainly warm the hearts of mature readers too.
A sweet, slim book about Griffin's first year in school. His family has been homeschooled by their gentle mother until the day that she and her new baby go away for a while. Griffin Silk is very sad and misses his sister and mother, blaming himself for their absence, watching every day for their return.
Layla befriends Griffin and their friendship and Layla's seamless entry into the Silk family is the basis of this lovely story.
H.M.C. H.M.C.
The Naming of Tishkin Silk is a thought-provoking journey with a young boy called Griffin, through trails and tribulations of childhood.
The prose are eloquent and beautiful, inspiring both adults and children alike. The characters are memorable and from the perspective of a Steiner trained teacher, the family traditions shine through in a way I've not encountered before within a book of fiction.
This short children's novel is beautiful, heartbreaking and as 'uncommon' as Griffin Silk and his family. The poetic prose and perfect characterisation makes it as appealing and moving to adults as it is to children.
(Warning- if you're planning on reading it aloud to a child, read it yourself first or you may end up sobbing through half the book and your child will not understand a word you're saying.)
Liz Yardley
A sweet story. A short book with long descriptions of trees and streams etc. I found those beautiful, but I'm not certain of the kid-appeal. This book touched on grief in a featherlight way. Perhaps it would make an excellent book for a child to read after the grieving process has progressed for some time - or perhaps for an adult? I liked the way it dealt with peer acceptance and guilt, albeit briefly.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading about this child who didn't quite fit in. By the end I felt I knew the family, shared their emotions and wanted to drop in for a visit. It was heart warming but at the same time a sad tale. I am not sure which age group I would recommend this for but I will encourage my 13 year old to read the story and look forward to hearing his view.
While I loved reading the story from a child's perspective I think it would still need a fair bit of explaining at the 9 yo level and possibly at the older levels, unless they were very mature and easily able to read into things.

I was looking for a story for my uncommon 8yo daughter who has learning difficulties but is filled with empathy, this didn't fit the bill at all, but I enjoyed it.
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Glenda Millard was born in the Goldfields region of Central Victoria and has lived in the area all her life. The communities she has lived in and the surrounding landscapes have provided a rich source of inspiration and settings for many of her stories.

It was not until Glenda's four children became teenagers that she began to write in her spare time. She is now a full-time writer.

Apart from writin
More about Glenda Millard...
A Small Free Kiss in the Dark Isabella's Garden Layla, Queen of Hearts Perry Angel's Suitcase The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk

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