The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett

The Silver Donkey

Written by Sonya Hartnett
Illustrated by Laura Carlin

9+ readers   11+ readers   The World Wars   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Award-winning Sonya Hartnett’s deeply moving The Silver Donkey is full of a soldier’s tales which he tells to the two children who find him alive but blind, struggling to get back from the war to his home across the channel. But the tales the soldier tells are not ones about war; they are all stories which one way or another connect to the precious and tiny silver donkey he carries in his pocket. Each beautifully told tale has a quietly made point which reflects the thoughtfulness of the soldier who, while waiting between the children’s visits, reflects on the war giving deeply moving insights into the great sadness he feels for the inhumanity of one man to another that he has observed.

Lovereading Comment....Set in France in the the First World War this is a stunning piece of timeless and inspirational storytelling for younger readers from the 2002 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning author of Thursday's Child. It's the story of an injured young soldier found by two young children one morning. As they help him to recover from some of his injuries the soldier tells the most evocative and at times painful stories all linked to The Silver Donkey, a keepsake in his pocket. As the days pass and they struggle to help the soldier reach home, the sisters learn the truth behind the silver donkey and what the precious object means: honesty, loyalty and courage.


The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett

One morning in the woods of France, a blinded soldier is found by two sisters, Coco and Marcelle. In return for their kindness the soldier tells the sisters marvellous tales, connected with the keepsake he carries in his pocket: a tiny silver donkey. As the days pass and they struggle to help the soldier reach home, the sisters learn the truth behind the silver donkey and what the precious object means: honesty, loyalty and courage.

The Silver Donkey won the 2005 Book of the Year from The Children's Book Council of Australia.


Some books seem to have always existed. The Silver Donkey is one of them. It's a timeless piece of storytelling, and reading it is like rediscovering a long-lost classic. The Guardian

About the Author

Sonya Hartnett

Sonya Hartnett was born in Melbourne, the second of six children. Her first book, Trouble All the Way, was written when she was just thirteen and published two years later. Since then she has gone on to write numerous successful novels, including The Ghost's Child, and has won many awards including the 2002 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the prestigious Age Book of the Year in Australia and most recently the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2008. Sonya lives in Australia.

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Book Info


224 pages
Interest Age: From 8


Sonya Hartnett
More books by Sonya Hartnett

Author's Website


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

3rd November 2008




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