Rebecca's Reviews > The Silent Boy

The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry
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's review
Mar 28, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: audio, middle-grade, historical-fiction, read2008
Read in April, 2008

Ugh, this was such paint by numbers historical fiction. Little girl ahead of her time (She wants to be a doctor like her daddy!) + vaguely quaint descriptions of daily life (Time to harness the horses and hang the laundry!) + awkwardly inserted Important Historical Events (The Triangle Shirtwaist fire! The first car in town!) + Special Lessons (Guess where babies come from! The hired girl's brother is "touched!"). It has that vacuous invented middle class sense of nostalgia we associate with the 50s. And it really bothered me that the silent boy isn't silent, nor is the story actually about him. Though it could have been a cool story told from his perspective. Points for taking the really obvious scandal a lot darker than I expected, otherwise I might have lost interest by the end.

For girly Americana that really sticks to your ribs try something by Karen Hesse or Karen Cushman. Or a classic like To Kill a Mockingbird.
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Mary Wow. A lot of cynicism! Please consider that in the early 20th century, women really did not have the opportunities we had (even in the 50s!) it truly was a rarity for a woman to attend and succeed in medical school - I don't agree that this story was 'pap' and a cookie-cutter girlie story.

The comments about Lowry's descriptions as bland and boring are simply wrong; there was far greater detail about their everyday lives and it was beautifully told!

I will look into the other titles you mentioned because I'm curious about what you consider story-worthy; but I beg to disagree with your assessment of this work.

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