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Monday, December 2, 2013

Boring title, but a pretty interesting adolescent novel

Stanley, Diane (2011) The Silver Bowl.  New York: Harper

I cannot imagine any self-respecting middle school or high school kid picking up this book and, upon seeing the title, thinking "Excellent! I have always been looking for a book about a silver bowl!  Based on my interest in earlier books about golden knives and brass spittoons, I am sure I will enjoy this!  I wish there were more books about dishes!"

Yet, in fact, it is kind of an interesting book.  So this girl Molly is raised by an unloving dad who sends her off to the castle to find work as a scullery maid. She eventually makes some friends (though not at first, the kitchen is pretty harsh) and work her way up to being a silver polisher.  In doing that, she starts to hear voices when she is polishing this particular silver bowl and eventually finds that she can enter into the world of the scenes shaped into its sides.  In doing that, she finds out about a plot to kill the royal family and soon finds herself and her friend Tobius on the run from scary silvery wolves with an injured prince.  And it turns out that she is the only one who can break the curse and make the kingdom safe again -- but to do it she has to break into the captured castle and again enter the world of the silver bowl.  And, of course, there is a love story woven through the middle of it.

I don't think this one is going to make my top ten list this year or anything, but if you are looking for an interesting book to keep a voracious reader busy for a day or two, this is a good choice. 

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