Silent to the Bone

by E.L. Konigsburg

From the moment he makes the 911 call to report an emergency with his baby sister,... read more

From the moment he makes the 911 call to report an emergency with his baby sister, 13‑year‑old Branwell Zamborska is unable to talk. According to the family’s British au pair, Branwell dropped and then shook the baby, leading to her brain injury. Now he is being held in a juvenile detention center, awaiting trial. But his best friend Connor is certain there’s more to the story. He knows Branwell would never hurt his baby sister. He also knows how much Branwell loves language, based on the word games they’ve played over the years. Is there some way he can use one of those games to unlock the words hidden deep inside his friend? Using 12 cards bearing single words or phrases that have special meaning to both boys, Connor is slowly able to unravel the mystery with the help of his adult stepsister, a savvy young woman who has a special understanding of Branwell and his family. Told in Connor’s wry voice, the story moves briskly as each card selected by Branwell sends Connor on a bit of investigative work. And Connor finds that he has another puzzle right in his own family—the source of a long‑standing rift between his father and his half sister. Konigsburg’s compelling novel reads like a good mystery. It explores the nature of empathy, the complexity of love, and the power of language. Winner, CCBC 2001 Newbery Discussion (Ages 10‑14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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