A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Silver Arrow offers the opportunity to discuss the value of perseverance and the importance of completing hard tasks. It showcases many unusual animals from around the world, including a baby pangolin.
Setting goals, working hard, and keeping promises are important. Never give up, especially when looking after endangered animals.
Positive Role Models
Katie and Tom seem to be of no specific ethnicity. Although they bicker from time, they are basically good kids -- brave, compassionate, and protective of each other and their animal charges.
Parents Need to Know
Parents should know that The Silver Arrow is a gentle, whimsical fantasy about a magic train filled with talking animals, driven by an 11-year-old girl and her 9-year-old brother. Although the characters find themselves in dangerous situations, no one gets hurt.
Is It Any Good?
Tales featuring talking animals have long been favorites, and this pleasantly old-fashioned fantasy features a lively cast of creatures. With The Silver Arrow, Lev Grossman, author of the adult fantasy series The Magicians, celebrates the Narnia books and the adventures of Doctor Doolittle, but with a 21 century spin. "Never give up!" is the one of the central messages of the narrative, as is a call to protect the planet. If those are not the most innovative of themes, they are handled with grace and wit. It's nice to have a stand-alone adventure that fulfills its goals in one volume, without the need for bloated, inconclusive sequels. The plot is frequently suspenseful, but there's little to disturb the reader. The Silver Arrow hits the mark wherever it's aimed!
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.