Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

The Silent Boy

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

A period slice-of-life book.

The Silent Boy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

It really depends on your kid

I can’t really give an age rating, I read this in fourth grade then 6th, in 4th grade I didn’t understand the endings. It’s a good book but it talks about a boy drowning kittens. Also towards the end Katy sees two people kissing in the hay and it says the girl’s apron is off and her blouse is untucked, this gives me some hints. Later the girl gives birth. So um...
age 9+


Great insight on the workings of crippled minds, but disturbing. Kittens and baby are drowned by 'The Silent Boy.'

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Except for the tragic events at the end of the story, this is more a slice-of-life than a plot-driven story. Young readers with patience will be rewarded by a vivid picture of an earlier time in a small town, when cars were making their first appearance, those who had phones shared the lines with other families, and doctors spent their days (and often nights) traveling around to the homes of those who needed them.

The author has chosen period photographs to illustrate the story, some from her own family, and some bought at antique stores. Along with Katy's narration, they give the book the feeling of a family artifact. For children who need action and adventure, you'd best pass this one by. But for those who love a story of when their parents or grandparents were young, this will be a pleasure.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate