Brian's Reviews > The Silver Crown

The Silver Crown by Robert C. O'Brien
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's review
Jan 27, 15

bookshelves: philosophical-subtext, young-readers

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 for it.

I checked it out, read it to my son, and got to relive the experience. It does fall short of great fantasy, largely due to insubstantial resolutions. With a shared world similar to though less distinct than J. K. Rowling's dichotomy of wizards and muggles, the story demanded more rational conclusions to what it proposed. Aside from the disappointing ending, this story was one of my first glimpses into fantasy and abstract concepts of time, freedom, telepathy, and sanity, and subliminally technology's role in human development. It also dealt with death and misery in a way I had never encountered in a children's tale. The Silver Crown certainly nurtured a burgeoning philosophical curiosity on my young psyche and O'Brien deserves credit for that.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Molly I was about to review the Silver Crown when I read your review and it perfectly reflected my own thoughts on this book. It haunted me as a child and I spent years trying to find it again but when I did find it I found it a bit lacking. Yet I feel fortunate for having had the experience.

Brian Molly wrote: "I was about to review the Silver Crown when I read your review and it perfectly reflected my own thoughts on this book. It haunted me as a child and I spent years trying to find it again but when ..."

Thanks for the recognition, Molly. Did you read it to your kids? I do like that being a parent gives me an excuse to revisit some of my childhood favorites.

message 3: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann "Haunted my childhood memories". Yep. That sums that up (I could never quite see Mary Had a Little Lamb the same again). Fun to rediscover. Good review here captures my sentiments both as a child and rereading as an adult.

message 4: by Jacquelyne (new) - added it

Jacquelyne Yes! I'm not only one who has been haunted by this book!
I first read this book when I was 12 and living in Munich. My Dad was on Sabbatical and I was put into a German school without knowing how to speak German.... long story short I am pretty sure that I read every book for my age group at the American Library.
This is the only book that has haunted me in which I remember the title. I learned after that to keep lists!
Except --- I am also haunted by a British book about some celestial force, something about stars, that inhabit rabbits which later bite humans....I know it sounds way out there. But being 12 yrs old was a long time ago so the synopsis might be off ->
Does anyone remember this book? Pleeease!

message 5: by Jacquelyne (new) - added it

Jacquelyne Back to The Silver Crown, it looks like it will be a challenge to find.
So, in the interm, my sharpest memory of the book is that she is hiding and is looking at a black road?

Artie Colwell 'Haunted' is the perfect word! I loved this book as a child and tracked it down to read it again when I was older. As with many childhood love revisited I was disappointed (the memory far outweighed my adult expectations) - but I will definitely share it with my children.

Brian I'm glad my experience has resonated with you all!

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