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The Silver Child

(Silver Sequence #1)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  871 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Six children leave the comfort of their homes. They are drawn to Coldharbour - an eerie wasteland of wind, rats, seagulls and rubbish tips. Emily and Freda, the twins, scuttle bright eyed and insect-like in search of the others. They find Thomas on a food tip. The gentle giant boy Walter joins them and so does Helen, who can read minds. And at the centre of it all is lumin ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 10th 2006 by First Avenue Editions (first published August 1st 2003)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  871 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Natanya L
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know how to start this review. The Silver Child haunted my childhood. When my friend and I picked it up in the library when we were ten, we read the beginning, and I couldn't get it out of my head. It horrified me. I am not usually repulsed by grotesque descriptions, but there was something about this book. We didn't know what to do about it, so we hid it. We hid the book behind the shelves in the back corner of the library, our secret spot. That response caused the book to stay wit ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandon
BORINGGG (I'm putting this book down)
I'm only on page 18 and I'm done with it. I'm not even going to give it a chance. The first few pages were quite interesting but then it got off topic and unreasonable. I know a lot of books build up as you read but I can predict that this book is going to be boring no matter what. Honestly, I felt that it could have been better...

The beginning is about this boy who suddenly had this weird "eating streak". He ate all the food off the table. (I was p
Levi van Zyl
I'm 12 years late to the party, but this has got to be one of the weirdest books I have ever read. I picked it up at a local used bookstore after checking out the gr rating, and that seriously did not prepare me.

The concepts in this book are, to me, very advanced for the intended age group. Metamorphosis??? MURDER??? Just WHAT is going on???

This book was an experience. I still can't decide if it's good or not based on just how overly different and weird it is. 10/10 on creativity and also just
May 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Whooooaaaa weird. This is a strange and gripping book, and I am still not sure if it's actually good or not. I know I couldn't stop reading it. It opens with a bizarre and frightening scene worthy of Stephen King: a boy, Milo, is sitting down to dinner with his family when he suddenly feels a ravenous hunger and procedes to violently demolish the entire family dinner, eating and drinking everything in sight. Immediately, his body begins to change: his hair falls out, his eyes bulge unnaturally, ...more
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young adults
Recommended to Kelly by: myself
Six children left their home and travled to Coldharbour, a wasteland filled with dumps as far as the eye could see. None of these children knew what was drawing them to Coldharbour, but yet they knew that they had to be there. They were supposed to help someone, or something. The first to leave his house was Milo. He knew that something was changing, but didn't know what. He was growing and morphing into something absurd, a monster. Through out the book, Milo's skin changes from normal and peels ...more
I read this book when I was younger and it stuck with me for years, this image of a boy eating everything on the table and dashing into the night at the whim of some higher power, calling to him. As other children slowly leave their comfortable homes and find their way to him, you are given a glimpse of the sound of roaring, a distant beast coming to claim our world. McNish builds suspense slowly and carefully, setting the stage for what is sure to be a furious battle to come.
Kiara Nelson
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five children leave the safety of their home, all because of a roar. They end up going to the “Coldharbour”, which is describe as a scattered dump. While being “called” there, they start to change from being able to read minds, to walking like insects. There they learn about their abilities and come together as one.

Because there are two other books in this trilogy, character development is very important, which the author nails. At times it’s gotten boring, but when it wasn’t it was rather weir
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, I skimmed this. This was a donation to my LFL and my kids read this so I perused it for that reason. As a mother, children surviving without the support of their families or the creation of such dark times and images where the fate of the world lies in robbing them of their innocence, is almost unpalatable. I can see the appeal for it but I’m not attracted to it. I read in a online review this book was compared to “The Neverending Story” but at first glance I didn’t get that impressi ...more
Brittney Haase
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So initially when I was younger I read Silver World without realizing that it was the third book in the sequence, and sadly, that is affecting the way I viewed this book. I am not saying it was bad, just odd based on how my previous experiences with the series went.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
It's an interesting story but has alot of disturbing content
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book because it was really unique and different kinds of kids get together to defeat a monster.
cynthia ✨
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the majority of the time, I had no idea what was happening to Milo-
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely haunting and unsettling. Unputdownable brilliance.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: No one
Kind of disturbing, actually. Definitely not a favorite. Not something I would recommend reading.
Mixter Anderson
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A imaginative, strange, creepy fantasy adventure. The world and the character captured my heart and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
I read this book a long time ago. And when I say a long time ago, I mean a loooooong time ago. So long ago, in fact, that I should have probably forgotten all about it by now. But for some strange, inexplicable reason The Silver Child by Cliff McNish has stuck with me.

Funnily enough, I don't really remember the Milo-wolfing-down-his-dinner scene everyone in the review section is talking about. And by that I mean: I remember it vaguely but don't count it among my "impressive" memories of the book
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 8th-roberts
The Silver Child by Cliff McNish is the first book in The Silver Sequence series. This first book mainly consists of a description of the characters, setting, and situation. This bizarre, imaginative, and unusual story takes place in Coldharbour, a place filled with garbage dumps, packed with dangerous gangs wandering about. Six mutated and deformed children feel drawn to Coldharbour by forces they don't quite grasp, and although the unsafe setting fills most of them with fear, they remain in th ...more
Nov 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, british
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annika Brock
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely an original concept, even though I feel like I have no idea what's going on overall still. Good thing I checked all three out from the library, eh?
Sam A
Jan 31, 2013 added it
The Silver Child was a very good book, in my opinion. I even got to read the 2 sequels, The Silver City and The Silver World! The story revolves around Milo, a boy whose skin suddenly falls off. Underneath, however, are not muscles and bones. A solid coating of gold now surrounds him, and he runs away to a city called Coldharbour. His vision fades to 0%, with the exception that he can only see children. Meanwhile, five other children are changing. Helen can suddenly read minds, Walter grows 12 f ...more
Majid Nobles
This is, I believe, the best among the Silver trilogy books. It's about a group of kids who are very different from the rest, each of them with a role to play in the future against an evil force coming upon them. Milo, the Silver child himself, plays the biggest role and has experienced the biggest transformation among the group. He has angel-like characteristics, such as silver skin and huge wings. He has the ability to see all the children in the world and communicate with them. Thomas, (my fa ...more
Checked out from the library.


1 out of 5


Six children are the first to start changing into something not human, and no one knows why. However, all of them are drawn to Coldharbour, and they can hear a roar. What is making the roar? And how will they be able to fight it?

First, what was I thinking when I thought I should re-read this?!

Okay, my feelings haven’t really changed from the first time I read it.

I’ll summarize since I don’t want to think that muc
Mar 24, 2013 rated it liked it
After 48 years, finished the book. I've been reading the first book of Cliff McNish's Silver Sequence at the NBS for free. And began...hmmm...since last year? Oh yeah...coz I read it before Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and HEROES.

And what does it got to do with F4 and Heroes? Okay, there are these kids from different places...special kids with some kind of powers. They can hear THE ROAR comin. And they were gathered by chance in Coldharbour and discover their destinies. So like Hero
Jena Marston
Sep 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers
Recommended to Jena by: Saw it on a shelf, the cover and name intrigued me.
First off, don't read unless you plan on reading the Trilogy, it is a major cliff hanger at the end so I am glad I borrowed all 3.

I thought this was an interesting book. A few children in the book have some cool super-human powers, which was an interesting twist, since it is usually adults with such powers. They also were powers different enough from other things that I have read for it to feel like I was reading something new.

I do have to say, these books were in Juvenile Fiction, and in my opp
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alicia Reynosa
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
During the month of November I read "The Silver Children" by Cliff McNish. This book was about six different children all different but very alike. Each child has a special gift and they all need each other to help one another for what is next to come. Something bad and evil is coming but only these six children can hear him. The six children began to change Milo,one of the children, changed faster than the other children. He is changing into a silver boy the attention is drawn to him. He brings ...more
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2013, series
Pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It had been on my to-read list for so long I couldn't remember why I first put it on there, but I'm very glad I finally read.

It's a bizarre little story, but it's told so well that it doesn't even matter how bizarre and wild it is. The children are strong in their own ways and the story itself is just....intriguing.

Not a lot of answers in this book, but again it's told so well that you just read the story and follow along pretty easily.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'd read this a long time ago, but I only remembered something about Milo's peeling skin. What I had forgotten was how much emotion was in this book. I love it. I love how the parents are really caring and try to help their super-kids. They can't, but they still try. If Milo had stayed, even his mother wouldn't have been able to handle the changes, because even complete strangers could barely stand watching. But she tries, and that's so much more than most literary parents do. Helen's dad, too, ...more
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Good story. Interesting. Can't wait for the next one. Really great series. Very unusual! I like it more than most! I bought all 3 because they only had book 1 the librarys around here. I didn't just want to have book 2 and 3 in my collections. So I read this one again which is not something I usually do. It's rare a book get a second reading. I wanted to be prepared for the 2nd and 3rd books. I am really enjoying them.
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I was born in Sunderland, a city in the north-east of England.
I don’t recall too much about my first 8 years of life other than I loved being outdoors especially in the woods near our house. I came home every night covered in scratches.
My first real book memory is being given C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew by my English teacher, Mrs Baldwin. I loved that, and all the other Narnia books.

So how

Other books in the series

Silver Sequence (3 books)
  • Silver City (Silver Sequence, #2)
  • Silver World (Silver Sequence, #3)

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