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The Silver Crown (1968)

by Robert C. O'Brien

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6421227,419 (3.93)14
Soon after waking up on her tenth birthday to find a silver crown on her pillow, Ellen's house burns down, her parents disappear, and she is launched on an adventure involving a trek through the woods, a castle full of brainwashed captives, and the powerful Hieronymus Machine which wants her crown.
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Kids/YA fantasy from the author of the famous Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of Nimh. I thought I'd never read this before, but at chapter 21, it suddenly came rushing back to me... The first half of the book is taken up by Our Young and Suddenly-Orphaned Heroine striking out on her own and fleeing the mysterious bad-guys, and I guess that wasn't terribly memorable to me as a child... but when the spooky evil thought-controlling reform-school comes into the picture - that, I guess, I found memorable. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
This was a fun, well-written book. Specifically for the younger reader, the book is a page-turner with lots of action and rich characters.

The protagonist, Ellen, finds a fast friend in Otto, as she sets out on an adventure that may or may not end up with her being the queen of ... well, something.

Very entertaining, and a book this size and this pleasant to read is sure to encourage tentative readers to read more.

Recommended. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
A masterfully subtle question-creating book for ages 8-ish and up: not a mere quest, not merely kids and magic, not merely a chase, not merely villains, but a question asked in many ways: What do you do when someone who means well sets off a chain of events that can cause harm? - What do you do when that person really, really means well but causes real, terrible harm, or could have done? Whether it's the secret of the black crown (no spoiling!) or the question of what to do with Otto's road sign vandalism, how far to trust strangers or how far to trust an organization, this book is the kind I love best in all children's fiction: one that plants the seed of a question to be answered over and over in adulthood, with more wisdom for having read this book.

CAVEAT: MAKE SURE YOU READ THE BRITISH EDITION. It has a different ending, and frankly, an infinitely better one. The American one explains everything and is tedious and out-of-character. ( )
  Nialle | Apr 26, 2015 |
This is one of my favourite books and one I have reread many times. As a child I was completely captivated by it. It is a great chase story and it is dark and sinister. From the first few frightening pages to the last it is a real page turner.

The mysterious man who pursues Ellen across the United states is a troubling character and the introduction of Otto who joins her in her adventure is just perfect.

I have purchased this for the children of friends over the years and all have loved it. ( )
  RachelMeehan | Aug 8, 2013 |
I have loved this book since I was a small child. I reread it many times growing up and it really struck a chord and captivated me.
The eerieness of the writing and the language that O'Brien uses to describe action and detail is simple but at the same time, riveting.
The Hieronymus cult story is fascinating and sinister and I still associate many things I see or hear with this book.
I have always thought this would make a great movie- I really wish they would consider it. ( )
  SusannahPK_83 | Feb 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert C. O'Brienprimary authorall editionscalculated
Payson, DaleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my children, and some day, their children.
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She had know all along that she was a queen, and now the crown proved it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Soon after waking up on her tenth birthday to find a silver crown on her pillow, Ellen's house burns down, her parents disappear, and she is launched on an adventure involving a trek through the woods, a castle full of brainwashed captives, and the powerful Hieronymus Machine which wants her crown.

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Book description
Ellen awakens one morning with a mysterious silver crown on the pillow beside her. What magic powers it possesses she has not yet discovered, but the sudden changes in her life are unmistakable: her house is burned down, her family has disappeared, and a man in a dark uniform is stalking her. Can Ellen ever find her family? Can she use the power of the silver crown to thwart the powers of darkness? What diabolical force hides inside the mysterious castle in the woods?
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