Author : Sonya Hartnett
Rating : 4 Stars!!!
Source copy : Booksale
Published (first published January 1st 2004)
ISBN : 1406304298 (ISBN13: 9781406304299)
Children's Book Council of Australia Award for Book of the Year: Younger Readers (2005), Canberra's Own Outstanding List (COOL) Awards for Fiction for Years 7 - 9 (2007), CBC Book of the Year Award : Younger Readers
One morning in the woods of World War I France, two young sisters stumble upon an astonishing find — a soldier, temporarily blinded by war, who has walked away from battle longing to see his gravely ill younger brother. Soon the care of the soldier becomes the girls' preoccupation, but it's not just the secret they share that emboldens them to steal food and other comforting items for the man. They are fascinated by what he holds in his hand — a tiny silver donkey. As the girls and their brother devise a plan for the soldier's safe passage home, he repays them by telling four wondrous tales about the humble donkey — from the legend of Bethlehem to a myth of India, from a story of rescue in war to a tale of family close to the soldier's heart. Sonya Hartnett explores rich new territory in this inspiring tale of kindness, loyalty, and courage.
Source : Goodreads
"It does not make me happy, sky. I will not take pleasure in the suffering of others. I would rather endure suffering myself, than see it inflicted on the world in my name."
I just stumbled upon finding another book to read on our local secondhand bookstore, then I saw The Silver Donkey. I admit that I was astonished with the cover since blue is my favorite color. But what really captures my attention is knowing that this book is a children's book inspite of the soldiers story in the middle of World War I. So I never hesitated on buying a copy of it.
Believe me, it's all worth it. The whole thing. Spending my money and time and finishing it, all of it marks another lesson chapter by chapter. (It's totally a children's book I suppose) I couldn't help myself on looking through the pages knowing there will be pictures/ drawings right at the next page. I know that it is definitely childish to think that the reason for my persuasion on finishing it is just by looking at those pictures/drawings, but that is what really I noticed upon reading it. The Silver Donkey brings me back to my childhood days when I keep on wanting to see how words can form into pictures. It is splendid in all ways.
I keep on thinking how Marcelle and Coco strives to help a stranger, a soldier. Though they were thinking that it might be dead, still they took a second glance on knowing the truth. I admire the courage of the two children to face and help the soldier at all costs. Within their hearts, they already know the pain of loneliness and they know how to keep those feelings away from the soldier's heart.
The soldier, Lieutenant Shepard, I already felt the pain of loss with his comrades during the war. There is nothing more painful than watching one of his brothers slowly dying. Sonya Hartnett's words feels like a rivulet of tears which slowly direct on the readers heart.
His stories are very wonderful. All of it brings lessons in me. Being brave and courageous by all means is what I totally feel at the end of the story. Donkeys are of course is the main character of every soldiers story. I loved how the words keeps on aligning within the donkeys patience, perseverance and bravery with all the bad times that happened. I even more LOVED it everytime Coco feels more close enough about the donkey.
At the end of it, I loved how the soldier endured the pain on telling to them the story of his time during the war. He knows it will bring back the painful memories but then he believes that the silver donkey which comes from his brother is the reason he was found by the children in the first place.
The Silver Donkey is a book that would dive the readers mind and heart of the true nature of bravery and sacrifice. It has the words that can make you feel like a child again knowing when the characters will reach the end of their pain.
P.S. I do really hope Lieutenant Shepard made it home in Channel. But, I'm pretty sure he already made it though.