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The Bronze Pen

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  460 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Audrey Abbott dreams of becoming a writer, but with her father's failing health and the family's shaky finances, it seems there is no room for what her overworked mother would surely call a childish fantasy. So Audrey keeps her writing a secret. That is, until she meets a mysterious old woman who seems able to read her mind. Audrey is surprised at how readi ...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published March 4th 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Roxanne Hsu Feldman
This happens to me with almost every book by Snyder: I became increasingly resentful and even angry at the posturing of the story being a magical or fantasy tale, where the author really just wanted to use the magical element to deal with real life crisis such as a sick father (like this one) to write something "wisely and to good purpose." (p. 200 -- the last paragraph of the story.) Grrr... The pacing is sluggish and the glints of magical happenings are so far apart and so few and there is so ...more
Apr 16, 2012 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of those books that has all the right parts but is still missing just that little extra piece. Audrey has always dreamed of being a writer so much that when she finds a mysterious women in a cave she is given a magical bronze pen. The central theme for me is the old women's words to "use the pen wisely and for good purpose." Here is where my extra pieces comes in, there is so much adventure and fantasy or thrill or mystery that Audrey could have written about which would have made th ...more
Oct 30, 2011 Irene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: november
The book "The Bronze Pen" is about a girl, Andrey, who gets a bronze pen from a mysterious woman in a cave. The woman told Audrey to use the pen wisely and for good purpose, but Audrey didn't know what that meant. So she started using the bronze pen to write stories and soon enough, some parts of the story came true!

The reason I picked this book up is because the summary was talking about a magical bronze pen. I then thought that this book is something that I would enjoy reading. Also, the cov
This is one of my favorite books. It is about a girl who loves writing stories. One day she finds a bronze pen. She uses the pen to write a story about a girl who can talk to animals. The next day she can talk to her dog.
Oct 09, 2009 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Bronze Pen is written with the good use of a solid, old-fashioned type of literary foundation that hearkens back to the time in which the story is set, the third quarter of the 1900s. It's good to see a writer such as Zilpha Keatley Snyder still going strong at it in her writing, producing new novels at a rate from which most writers of her time long ago relaxed. Some interesting and certainly noteworthy thoughts are sprinkled throughout the writing, giving the potential to enjoy The Bronze ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Ellicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bronze Pen by Zilpha Keatley Snyder is an amazing book! Audrey is a girl who follows a white goose. She is lead into a cave where she meets an old woman. The old woman knows she is a writer and loves to write, so she gives her a bronze pen. When Audrey starts to write a story, it comes true. Did her dog Beowulf start talking to her? Now, when her dad gets ill, she has to discover if the bronze pen is a gift or a curse.
May 15, 2014 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I was disappointed with this book, "The Bronze Pen", but all the bad reviews should have given it away. The story dragged out and the main character, Audrey, wrote horribly even though the point of the story was her being a good writer. The beginning was also confusing and didn't mention it very well in the story. "The Egypt Game" another book by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, was better than this one.
Could be I was just not in the right mood for reading this one. It seemed though the story was a little forced. That the narrator's voice was just a bit too pushy and talking down to the children who would be reading this book. Some though may like the magical elements of the pen. It did seem though it took an awful long time for Audrey to figure out how to best use the pen.
May 26, 2012 Joslyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i loved this book i love the concept of having a magic pen but it doesnt work when you want it it only works when you well kinda need it ? if that makes sense i love the story line the beginging imedietly captured my interest with a strage old lady in a cave and following a white duck its a great book that i re-read all the time
Aleeza Batara
I thought that the book will be that interesting, but for me, it wasn't that much interesting... Well, I might find a new good book by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and not boring ones though.
Cute and creative story, but the ending fell a little flat for me. It was just too much of a happy ending and all a little too convenient.
Summer Ahrns
Oct 21, 2016 Summer Ahrns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eled-favorites
The Bronze Pen is on my favorite shelf because the creative and attention grabbing chapters keeps readers wanting to know what happens with the main character, Audrey, and her adventures to the cave, with the old woman in the cave, and with the special pen. The hopeful girl and the seemingly magical pen create an interesting plot that make me feel like I am in the story myself. I think readers at the intermediate level would feel this way as well while reading this fantasy story. As the chapters ...more
Apr 06, 2016 Rubie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Bronze Pen by Zilpha Snyder definitely wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. It probably seemed worse to me because I read extremely excellent books before, and after this book. Audrey has always dreamed of becoming a writer, although she has kept it a secret. It makes sense to do this with her father’s bad, and increasingly worse health, and her family’s bad financial situation. One day Audrey walks up the hill, and she meets an old woman in the cave, where she was forbidden to go. The old ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Mamatufy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice story but the author hurried the ending unfortunately. Twelve-year-old Audrey Abbott dreams of becoming a writer, but with her father's failing health and the family's shaky finances, it seems there is no room for what her overworked mother would surely call a childish fantasy. So Audrey keeps her writing a secret. That is, until she meets a mysterious old woman who seems able to read her mind & make her share her innermost private thoughts. Audrey is surprised & vows to be stronger ...more
Twelve-year-old Audrey is a quiet, lonely writer. She comes home from school early everyday to take care of her ailing father. To support the family, her mother works in an office where she is often criticized by her manager. One day, Audrey follows a white duck into a cave where she finds what appears to be an old woman. The lady gives her a bronze pen and instructs her to use it wisely. Audrey finds that when she writes stories with her pen, the plot comes true. Now Audrey must learn how to u ...more
May 22, 2016 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book! Audrey Abbot is a writer. It is her passion and her escape from the troubles in her family - her mom has a job with a mean boss and her father is ill with angina pectoris and could die at any time. This book takes place in 1973 - no digital anything - but still seems contemporary. Audrey has an experience - she follows a duck into a cave and meets someone who seems able to read her mind. This someone gives her the Bronze Pen. Audrey discovers that when she writes with the p ...more
I really wanted to get into this book because it sounded like an interesting concept: a girl with a magical pen that could write things into reality. For me the book was just missing that special something. The character development was a little lacking so that may have been it. This is of course a short story for young readers but given more details and information about the characters this could have been a better book if is were longer. Also no real conclusion with what happened to the eccent ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Sep 18, 2015 Cynthia Egbert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This may be my favourite of Snyder's books that I have read thus far. I love the idea of the pen being offered by a creature that may have had ties to her grandmother and that perhaps the mysterious woman that Audrey meets in the cave is indeed some incarnation of that grandmother. I love a happy ending with just that perfect touch of mysterious magic to bring the pass the happiness and this book delivers.(And when a book's front cover has an asterisk followed by the words "Loathed by Lemony Sni ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Brooke rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is really poorly written. There are plot holes, the pacing is slow, the magical element unexplained. We are told that Audrey is 12 but she sounds much younger, yet she has already read Jane Eyre and Great Expectations, I don't think so. I'm also not sure why the author chose the '70s as a setting. She certainly didn't make that believable. I don't know anyone who took algebra as a 7th grader, or addressed their parents by their first names in their minds, nor were there usually women bosses ...more
Feb 09, 2015 Sharon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book from Scholastic, thinking my daugher would like it. I decided to read it first, at the halfway point I know she would find it exceedingly boring. At the halfway point, Audrey hadn’t yet figured out anything about the pen. And when she finally figured it out, the book just ended. And I thought her friend Lizzie was obnoxious. I don’t know when this book was written, but it was set in the early 1970s. In any case, I don’t consider this book a timeless treasure, and I will be donati ...more
This had a very clever premise. An aspiring young (age 12) author is given a pen under mysterious circumstances and that pen has mysterious powers. I liked Audrey and her friend Lizzie. What confused me is why it was necessary to set this book in 1972. I realize it made the plot a little more exciting that her father needed heart bypass surgery in a time before that was done on a regular basis but most readers wouldn't know this fact. It would have been more interesting, in my opinion, had it be ...more
Professor Ritter
The Bronze Pen captured my attention early. It was mysterious and I thought I had an idea where is was heading and I was eagerly anticipating an exciting read. Although I felt the book lost momentum as an adventure, Snyder compensated by shifting the tension in the book from her dilemna with the bronze to pen, to the emerging crisis in her family. It was a fun read and I think a lot of kids woudl like it. I was considering it as a read aloud, but now I could see it as a lit circle book or an ind ...more
Amy Carr
Mar 30, 2011 Amy Carr rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, this was a terrible book. The concept was so appealing and interesting but everything about the execution of that concept failed terribly. The story was slow and lacked the type of depth and development that makes it "believable" and engages the reader with the characters and story. The characters were very flat and stereotypical. The plot just never moves and then on the last page, what little "tension" there was in the story all comes to a very abrupt end. What a waste of a geni ...more
Mar 17, 2011 Thom rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Bronze Pen -

This book just wasn't gripping. The plot takes a long time in gaining momentum - much too long in fact. I gave it up about a third of the way through, just after Audrey receives the mystical bronze pen. I found myself guessing what was going to happen instead of anxiously enjoying the plot. Audrey and her dilemma with her father's illness just aren't interesting enough to care about.
I like books that encourage kids to write, and this falls strongly into this category: a magic pen to be used "wisely and to good purpose" leads the protagonist on a series of adventures and friendships as she learns to use it in her writing. While I'd love to see the whole plot and characters fleshed out, the book is exactly the right length for the intended readers (young) without ever talking down to them.
Rebecca Heywood
May 19, 2013 Rebecca Heywood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Also a easy read, I loved this story. It actually made me think of a couple ideas for stories I once had. The ending is very touching when she finally figures out what really matters to her and sometimes things happen in ways you don't expect. I kind of alike it to answers to prayers. You don't always get your answer right away, sometimes you don't recognize it as an answer, or sometimes it comes in a way you were not expecting.
Valerie Schafer
Anything you write becoming reality, an author's dream right? Not so for Audrey. She is gifted with a bronze pen and told to use it wisely, but not everything she writes turns out the way she wants it to. Now she has to figure out a way to save her father's life. A simple, cute story meant for younger children, but can still be enjoyed by all, The Bronze Pen is one of my favorite childhood books.
Jude DeRango
Apr 12, 2016 Jude DeRango rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
I was like 7 or something when i read this, and i absolutely loved it. It was intelligent, and surreal, and creepy. Things often not found in books targeted to my age group. I then read it over and over again and, sinister became my favourite word. (Because I'm a nerd who has favourite words.) I still appreciate the story today even if I no longer view it as complex.
Jul 07, 2011 Austin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Almost stopped reading about halfway through, because I was too bored, but I decided to finish it just to finish it. Pretty boring story most of the way through. I think the author actually got bored writing it, and decided to wrap up the story really quickly. The last paragraph was actually laughable, it was so poorly written. Very disappointed in this book.
Jun 10, 2011 Aaryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a book about a girl called Audrey. Her dad have heart dease so her mom was not really cheerful. One day, she went to the house's roof and strarted writing poems. Then, she saw a duck. The duck brought her to a hole where she and another twins have been played before. What is inside the hole? Can't tell you. Find it yourself!
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The recipient of three Newbery Honor Book awards for "The Egypt Game," "The Headless Cupid," and "The Witches of Worm," Zilpha Keatley Snyder has been writing books for children since 1964 when her first book, "A Season of Ponies," was published. Since that time she has completed 43 books, mostly for children aged 9 to 13, but also including two books for young adults, four picture books for young ...more
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