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Silent to the Bone

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  5,786 Ratings  ·  495 Reviews


Connor is sure his best friend, Branwell, couldn't have hurt Branwell's baby half sister, Nikki. But Nikki lies in a coma, and Branwell is in a juvenile behavioral center, suspected of a horrible crime and unable to utter the words to tell what really happened. Connor is the only one who might be able to break through Branwell's wall of silence. But how can h

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Published October 3rd 2000 by Listening Library (first published 2000)
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Aj the Ravenous Reader
A short but interesting story that tackles a social problem in an intriguing manner. The title signifies what has happened to the main character because he seems to have lost his ability to talk after witnessing a terribly shocking incident between their au pair and his baby sister for which he was blamed and accused of.

This is also a story of loyalty and friendship which eventually led to the truth in the end of the story.
Apr 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I don't think there is any feeling I like more than the one that someone is glad to see me."

--Connor Kane, "Silent to the Bone", P. 51

"I'm not sure that love and like aren't like cats and dogs: One can't grow up to be the other, but they can be taught to live under the same roof."

--Connor Kane, P. 74

My expectations for E.L. Konigsburg are always as high (or higher) than those I have for any other writer, and I have never known her to let me down. She did not disappoint in "Silent to the Bo
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
An incredibly well written book, it drew me in very quickly, as I really wanted to know what had happened...but as it went on , I realized that it was probably leading where it did eventually modern immorality causing havoc in people's lives. (Hence the three stars rating - the writing deserved five stars.) I wouldn't want my tween/teen boys reading this book, it is graphic enough, and they don't need ANY additional influence of that, (although it is probably somewhat milder by today's ...more
Connor's precocious friend Branwell suddenly stopped talking the day Bran's baby sister was injured and the babysitter blamed it on him. While little Nikki is in the hospital in a coma, Bran is sent to a juvenile detention center, and Connor visits him every day to try to develop ways to communicate so that they can get to the bottom of the mystery of what really happened that day.

The book is well-written and engaging, and I bought everything except for the overarching premise that a 13-year-old
Nora Nerius
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a more mature read than I initially thought. However, it was that maturity that made me really enjoy this book. The friendship between Connor and Branwell is one that is very admirable. Connor never allows the thought that his best friend could have hurt his sister into his mind at any point. The persistence to get him to talk and make him feel better makes Connor so likable as a character. Branwell's guilt and the struggle he endures wishing his sister gets better as well as knowing the ...more
May 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E.L. Konigsburg really comes through with this one. Beware, this isn't a book for younger readers. Branwell- a slightly odd, very precocious child- stops talking the day he calls 911. His sister Nikki is in a coma, and the au pair (the icky Vivian) explains that Bran shook and then dropped her. Bran is put in a juvenile detention center, and it's up to his best friend, Connor, to develop a code and find out what really happened that day.

This book is really, really good.
Lauren (likes literature)
This review will be quicker than I'd like.

I had very high expectations for this book, having read and adored two of this author's previous works.
However, this book wasn't as emotionally complex as those other two, and it was atrociously predictable. The basic premise also required more suspension of disbelief than I was willing or able to give. I skimmed it because I could tell everything that was going to happen by about chapter 3. The book attempts to deal with some pretty heavy topics (view
Conner is in a bad solution, his best buddy is in the juvenile behavioral center because his sister is in a coma and Bardwell "his best buddy" is blamed for it.
I love this book Because it is a mastery were he has to find a way to understand what happened when his buddy however is struck dumb.
I learned that a French man who could not move any part of his body but his eyes wrote a book by having a person point his/her finger at a letter and if the French man blinked 2 times that meant to write the
Danielle Routh
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the Mixed-Up Files is good. The View from Saturday is even better. But this, this is the Konigsburg book that should have won a Newbery. In Connor and Branwell, Konigsburg created characters who are highly sympathetic and realistic but also incredibly human and thus fallible. The themes and nuances of this book are woven together incredibly in a coming-of-age story that not once feels cliche.
Greg Kerestan
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tween's introduction to noir... I don't remember this book in significant detail, but I remember reading it in middle school and finding it fascinating. A dark but witty mystery drama, evocative characters and an ending that stuck with me even as the rest of the book disappeared meant that this one stayed on my shelf of "worthwhile books" for years after I remembered why it was there.
Cait S
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was a little long winded for the outcome being something I mostly suspected all along. I found the dialogue to be a little jarring too, how no one really seemed to speak or act their age. But I liked it enough to finish it so I guess that's something.
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book, Silent To the Bone, by E.L. Konigsburg has many exciting lines that leave me with suspense, and make me never want to stop reading. From the minute I read the first line in the book, to the last line in the book, I was always engaged in the reading. On the first page, Conner says, “ It is easy to pinpoint the minute when my friend Branwell began his silence. It was Wednesday, November 25th, 2:43P.M., eastern standard time. It was there-or I guess you could say not there-on the tape of ...more
Mar 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 9th-grade
Silent to the Bone Alddin paperbacks, 2002, 261pp,. $5.99

e.l. Konigsburg ISBN 0-689-83602-3

Imagine you cradling your half baby sister in your arms, looking into her new born baby eyes, enjoying the moment, then all of a sudden you drop her. You run to call 911, you open your mouth…but nothing comes out. This is what happened to Branwell Zamborska. Since that tragic day, Branwell hasn’t talk since. His sister’s suffering from a coma and if he doesn’t speak up now he could be convicted for mansla
Summer Turner
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a page turner!

I read this book because it is one of the few by E.L. Konigsburg that I have never read. I found it in a book store years ago and started to read it, but never picked it up again until yesterday.

I love how the author interweaves her stories. This book is connected to several of her other works, such as "The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place" and "The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World," in a very subtle, realistic way. I enjoy making those connections and see the pieces fit tog
Leena Ali
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a13 year old guy named Branwell, he has a dad, step-mom and step-sister. When his sister was 3 months old, she was sleeping and he was standing beside her and somehow she fell out of her bed and he got blamed for it. And then when he called 911, the police man said Hello like 5 times and then anyone there and the mother said tell him what happened, hurry, we need the ambulance fast. But Branwell couldn't speak. He was disable. The doctor and his parents thought he was taking a ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some really interesting themes here about the nature of shame and the importance of confession and community, but the subject matter was pretty heavy for a middle-grade book. Spoiler alert, I guess, but the book contains accusations of sibling molestation, as well as what I would consider sexual abuse/manipulation of a young boy. It's handled deftly, but I definitely wouldn't give this to a ten year old, and I wouldn't give it to any kid without lots of follow-up.
Samuel Junwon
The reason why I decided to read this book was because it was annoyingly hanging around my bookshelf. Well, I guess it wasn't a terrible choice.

The plot is about a guy named Connor trying to prove his friend Brandwell, who was suffering of dysphasia, innocent and restore all those messed-up family relationships back to normal.

Since it’s a novel for teenagers, I thought that Brandwell would’ve been completely innocent. He is described as a smart, nerd-kind of a guy who is not interested into wo
Jodi Papazian
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-reads
Silent to the Bone has been tempting me for a few years now. It is on the school summer reading list and I try to familiarize myself with a handful of them throughout the year.
I found this book to be highly engaging. After a near-death experience involving his baby sister, Branwell finds himself struck silent. Due to incriminating evidence from the au pair, Vivian, everyone is led to believe that this is due to Branwell's guilt believing that he had something to do with the incident. The only
Tom Mcguire
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm quickly becoming a big E.L. Konigsburg fan. This book was startlingly mature and intense at times, but was a fascinating look at how adolescents grapple with shame, friendship, and their own coming-of-age journeys. Like in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler , our protagonist (Connor) takes on more and more responsibility as he deals with increasingly adult challenges. Here, however, his 'missions' are not adventures sought for fun or glory, but purposeful errands designed ...more
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 5th grade and up
In this haunting, layered mystery, Branwell Zamborska is struck mute after his baby sister is injured while he and the au pair are in the house. Only his best friend Connor is able to communicate with Branwell to try to unravel what really happened -- both on that fateful day, and in the weeks leading up to it. Connor feels Branwell is innocent, but until Branwell decides to speak, nothing can be proven.

I read this on a plane and it kept me turning pages. Great cover, great dialogue, and excell
Jul 18, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
In Silent to the Bone, E. L. Konigsburg (author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) examines communication in relationships, and what gets lost when we do not speak. The book opens with a mysterious 911 call. This call reveals that 13-year-old Branwell Zamborska is struck dumb during the same incident that puts Nikki, his baby half-sister, in a coma. The British au pair is the only other known person who witnessed the incident and can vocalize what happened, and her finger p ...more
Dec 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Silent to the Bone" deals with a number of issues; it confronts divorce, friendship, sexual attraction, parent and child relationships, second marriages and child abuse.

The book starts with a 911 call and the caller cannot speak, Branwell Zamborska is struck dumb from the moment he makes the call. Something traumatic has happened and now Branwell is silent to the bone.

Branwell's baby sister suffers from encephalitis and Branwell is blamed for causing the harm. Connor who is Branwell's friend kn
Michelle Christensen
It was a long time ago that I read this book. But from what I remember, this book dealt with abuse of children (and I think it involved sexual abuse) and that of children being accused of accused in a graphic sense. So NOT a topic of fiction for middle grade readers ages 9 to 14!!

I really enjoyed three other books of Konigsburg's before this one, so I was eager to read this one when I found it. She had a reputation of writing for middle grade readers. After this book I can't trust this author w
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another YA book in a day. All while AMERICANAH languished on my nightstand. I really liked reading this novel about young Connor who solves the mystery of what happened to Branwell's sister to make Branwell's go mute. This novel explores so many issues from adolescent shame to deep friendship. I can only hope that if I'm in a bind, I have a friend like Connor Kane.

There were moments when I could hear konigsburg over-explaining, but I think that's the genre. Lovely characters, interesting story,
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
Branwell stops speaking after something happens to his baby sister that makes her go into a coma. His best friend, Connor, devises a method through flashcards and blinking in which Branwell can communicate with him. The mystery of what happened between Branwell, the baby, and the au pair is revealed little by little as Connor works to free his best friend from silence.

Totally great. This book approaches a few subjects that are really hard for teenage and preteen boys to talk about.
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech after being wrongly accused of injuring his baby half-sister, and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what happened.
What I learned, never accused a child of anything. Just ask, because children would never lie.
Aug 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. The only mystery novel that I have ever read. Its about these two boys. One of them, his baby sister gets injured really badly, and no one knows what happens. The boy wont say a thing and is put into an institution. The other boy, the best friend, is forced to investigate himself what happen.
Another teenage/children's book- what can I say, they are like comfort food. Comfort reading? I'd only picked this up because I remember liking From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweller, about kids living in a museum in New York City; I never realized the author had written other books. This one was really good.
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
My son read this with me. We still read together (he's 11). We both usually have another going on our own. All this to say, this has some adult material in it and I was glad we read it together because it inspired some good conversations about puberty and the stuff that comes with it. Fabulous book.
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Mrs. Anderson's E...: Silent to the bone 1 6 Dec 20, 2015 09:24AM  
This book is really intense 11 73 Feb 26, 2014 10:22AM  
Character anaylis 2 12 Mar 09, 2012 06:30PM  
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Elaine Lobl Konigsburg was an American author and illustrator of children's books and young adult fiction. She was the only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year (1968), with her second and first books respectively: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Kongisburg won a second Newbery ...more
More about E.L. Konigsburg...
“I don't think there is any feeling I like more than the one that someone is glad to see me.

—Connor Kane”
“Talk was like the vitamins of our friendship: Large daily doses kept it healthy.” 24 likes
More quotes…