Reader Reviewed One Silver Summer by Rachel Hickman

One Silver Summer

Written by Rachel Hickman

11+ readers   Books of the Year   Debuts of the Month   13+ readers   Summer Reading   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | June 2017 Debut of the Month A heady romance for two adolescences each of whom is coping with a family trauma revolves around a horse, secrets and the terrible pressures of family. Sass, newly arrived in Cornwall to live with her uncle after her mother’s death in a car crash, comes across a beautiful silver horse in a sun dappled meadow and is enchanted. Alex, a moody teenager trying to cope with the expectations put on him, looks after the horse. When Alex offers to teach Sass how to ride Sass is drawn into his world – and the amazing secret of who he really is. Love and loss go hand in hand in a story that reaches across generations as well as capturing the pressures of today. ~ Julia Eccleshare

A message from the author: I hope that One Silver Summer is like the best chocolate – not too sweet, but meltingly comforting!

As a reader and publisher, I found myself in an editorial meeting wishing for a manuscript that was 'old school' romantic – dramatic and euphoric – set in a place as wild and windswept as Daphne Du Maurier's Cornwall ... but made modern. Then that started me thinking about fairytales and why they're evergreen. Why even today we're still prepared to accept and be fascinated by the idea of monarchy. And I guess the answer is that when life is ordinary – we seek out the extraordinary – when what separates them is a very thin line. Reading fairytales might be escapist, but is there anything better than reading to dream, at least for the length of a book?

One Silver Summer is about a girl who finds a horse that leads her to a boy with history to his name. It reflects on the lives of the real-life royals. Glamorous and popular – but living in the full glare of the media. What would it be like to befriend them? In a dreaming field in deepest Cornwall, out of the reach of the world, it might just be possible . . . I imagine.

And the fruit and nut? Cornwall. Castles. Horses. And lots of galloping!

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.

  • Imogen Breaks, age 14 - 'I really enjoyed this book because not only was it a summer romance but it also included adventure. I would rate this book a massive 10 out of 10.'
  • Sidney Greenslade, age 13 - 'There were twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat - the beautiful world Rachel Hickman has created had me bewitched until the very end.'
  • Neha Saji, age 14 - 'The big positive about his book is that it is very descriptive so that you (the reader) are able to imagine the scene clearly.'
  • Bella, age 10 - 'I think my mum enjoyed this book more than me although I did like it...I love the descriptions of the horses and the beaches and it makes me want to go back to Cornwall.'
  • Emily Kirby, age 12 - 'One Silver Summer was good but I have to say it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read.'
  • Holly Wilkins, age 13 - 'A book you'll never want to put down.'


One Silver Summer by Rachel Hickman

After losing her mum in an accident, Sass is sent to live with her uncle in England. Far from her native Brooklyn, the rocky shores and crumbling castles of Cornwall seem like the perfect place to hide her grief. And when she stumbles across a silver horse in a sunlit meadow Sass feels a surprising sense of peace...only to have it broken by a boy. Arrogant and distrustful, the horse's trainer, Alex, doesn't approve of the trespassing American. Yet after a few chance meetings, he begins to feel a connection to the curious girl with the sad eyes, and offers to teach her to ride. Sass never expected to feel anything again - least of all love - but the lessons reveal a far different Alex, and soon their friendship turns into something more. But Alex has a secret - a bombshell about his family that could shatter Sass's trust...and force him to abandon the one girl who made him believe in himself.


I loved One Silver Summer. A gorgeously swoony tale of first love and beautiful horses set in a Du Maurier inspired Cornwall of rocky beaches and crumbling castles. Perfect for fans of Lauren St John, this fills a gap in the younger teen market for well written, thrilling, romantic stories. Fiona Noble

Loved it. A book bursting with my guilty pleasures. Sophia Bennett

I loved reading One Silver Summer. It kept me captivated all of Friday afternoon, and all weekend I felt like a little part of me was still in Cornwall, surrounded by swirling mists, galloping along a beach. Natasha Farrant

A sumptuous, sweeping romance shot through with mystery. Set against the beauty and beaches of the
Cornish coast, Alex and Sass' story had my heart galloping. Kiran Millwood Hargrave

beautiful wordsmithery and imagery, a touch of mystery, and a dreamlike romance ... a lovely read that
will appeal to boys and girls with a romantic heart. Voice of Youth Advocates

A slow-burning story of summer love. Booklist

About the Author

Rachel Hickman

Rachel Hickman is a founding director of acclaimed small publisher, Chicken House Books. Her 25-year career was first inspired by her time in the Puffin Club as a child and since then she has worked with some of the best-known children's authors in the world including Roadl Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, Maurice Sendak and Cornelia Funke. Before launching Chicken House Publishing Ltd. with Barry Cunningham in 2000, she previously worked at Penguin Chidren's Books and Harper Collins Publishers. Rachel lives near Andover, Hampshire with her husband, her two grown-up children, her dog - and her horse. One Silver Summer is her debut novel - she is working on a second book set on Dartmoor.

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Book Info


288 pages


Rachel Hickman
More books by Rachel Hickman


Old Barn Books

Publication date

25th May 2017




Publisher Profile

Old Barn Books is an imprint of Old Barn Books


Old Barn Books is a new, artist-led, independent, publisher of illustrated books for children and gift books for adults. With an office in a barn in the woods we published our first book, Bluebell Bears, in April 2015 and have published a book each month since. Working with creative friends old and new we have published board books, picture books and novelty books. Our list is eclectic and personal and aims to share our enjoyment of great illustration and the things our children love.

Find Old Barn Books on facebook, Instagram and twitter @oldbarnbooks.

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