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The Magical Journey of Two Kids and a Steam Locomotive
The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman is a fantastical journey that kids will want to follow, with a message that will resonate with them and their parents.
Kate is what you would expect from a child who is about to celebrate her eleventh birthday. She wants something special to happen. So, she sends a letter to her estranged Uncle Herbert for a present. Since he’s “super rich,” this shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, sometimes, birthday wishes do come true.
Grossman does a wonderful job at presenting our main character, and her brother Tom, so whoever is reading perfectly understands the sense of boredom in their lives. What’s even worse – her parents don’t seem interested in their own kids’ lives.
The Silver Arrow brings present-day concerns that parents might be all too familiar with. When children ask their parents to do something, but they’re too busy staring into their phones to find a reason to say “Yes.” Grossman’s approach to highlight a child’s inner struggle that’s part boredom and part not feeling loved or important is gut-wrenching. Fortunately, for Kate’s sake, her Uncle brings her the ultimate of all gifts.
A steam locomotive train.
The Silver Arrow Tells More Than Just a Good Story
The excitement of such an extravagant and extraordinarily heavy gift does not go unnoticed. Kate is thrilled. Her parents are stunned to say the least. They also make it clear it isn’t a gift they can keep. Despite the train being old and not technologically advanced, she doesn’t want it to be gone as soon as it arrived.
An angry shouting match with her mother ensues about keeping the train long-term. This argument fuels Kate to see her train as more than just an gigantic stationary toy. Fortunately for Kate, adventure soon presents itself in grand Roald Dahl-like fashion where the unknown is a wonderful thing.
Kate and her brother sneak out of the house and notice a fire crackling within. Curiosity leads them up into the train and then the adventure of a lifetime begins as the train suddenly takes off into the night. They don’t know how to stop it, and they have no way of knowing where they’re going.
Lev Grossman creates a world of imagination that will thrill kids to be along for the ride. He also introduces real-world issues for readers to understand the inherent dangers climate change poses to animals. Plus, what better way to get a child’s attention than to have a bunch of never-before seen animals start talking to them.
The Silver Arrow Hits the Bullseye
The Silver Arrow is a wonderful tale that sends positive messages in a way that’s easy to digest. Spend time with your children. Let your kids go on an adventure. Give them more responsibilities and watch them fill with pride for the hard work and energy put into it.
They will learn about wildlife in a way that makes them appreciate their surroundings. Plus, they’ll grasp why it’s important to learn and understand things about our world. They will walk away from this story knowing that despite our past, working toward change is possible. The Silver Arrow is a story both parents and their kids will definitely enjoy!
Lev Grossman is the author Warp, Codex, and The Magicians trilogy, which also sees a transformation to comic book form.
I read The Silver Arrow on a Kindle Fire 7 and this ebook was not provided by the author.