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Silent to the Bone [Mass Market Paperback]

E.L. Konigsburg
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2004
Speechless
Connor is sure his best friend, Branwell, couldn't have hurt Branwell's baby half sister, Nikki. But Nikki lies in a coma, and Branwell is in a juvenile behavioral center, suspected of a horrible crime and unable to utter the words to tell what really happened.
Connor is the only one who might be able to break through Branwell's wall of silence. But how can he prove Branwell didn't commit the unspeakable act of which he's accused -- when Branwell can't speak for himself?

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From Amazon

What happened on Wednesday, November 25, 2:43 P.M., Eastern Standard Time, to cause Branwell Zamborska to become mute? All anyone knows is that he called 911 because his baby sister, Nikki, had stopped breathing, and when he was unable to speak to the operator, Vivian, the English au pair, came on the line to say that Branwell had dropped the baby and shaken her. His best friend, Connor, begins visiting him at the juvenile behavioral center, where he has been sent while Nikki remains in a coma at the hospital. Working out a code they both can use, Connor begins the long process of trying to communicate with his friend to find out what really happened. With the help of his own half-sister and some canny detective work, Connor uncovers a complex, multilayered tale of human desires, adolescent confusion, and a touch of menace.

E.L. Konigsburg, brilliant Newbery Medal-winning author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The View from Saturday, has honed her skills to a fine point. Her keen understanding of young people is matched by her ability to create suspenseful, page-turning masterpieces. This beautifully written story is darker than some of her others, with a remarkably true glimpse into a young man's inner world. (Ages 10 to 14) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The latest from Newbery Medalist KonigsburgAa taut novel with the momentum of a detective storyAnever catches fire in this ultimately disappointing audio adaptation. When his infant half sister Nikki appears unconscious, 13-year-old Branwell Zamborska rushes to call for help. But when the 911 operator asks him for key information, Branwell cannot speak; he's been struck mute, seemingly by the tragic, frightening situation. The family's British au pair completes the emergency call and accuses Branwell of injuring the baby. While Nikki lies in a coma at the hospital, Branwell is sent to a facility for troubled youths. It's there that Branwell's best friend Connor Kane devises a code for communicating with Branwell and, with help from his older half sister Margaret, begins to untangle the truth about what really happened to Nikki. Konigsburg's crisply drawn tale crackles on the page as narrated by Connor. But McGillin never truly inhabits Connor's skin. He seems to strain for a chipper, youthful intonation in each sentence. And with this forced rhythm, McGill fails to convey the emotional intensity and suspense of the text. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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It is easy to pinpoint the minute when my friend Bran-well began his silence. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Aug. 12 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
As usual, Konigsburg has turned out a well-written book centered around a complicated plot. However, as a middle school teacher, I cannot in good conscience recommend the book to the students in my school because of the content. The plot centers around the sexual ensnarement of an adolescent boy by an older female. While the sexual activities of the female were not described in great detail, they were present. As an adult, I realize that these things do happen in our society. I found the psychological insights interesting, but as a teacher, I do not feel the parents in my school would appreciate me recommending this book for middle school children. I do not support censorship, but I was blindsided by the content of the book which many in my small southern community would find offensive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My summary on Silent to the bone July 18 2004
Format:Paperback
Silent to the Bone is a great story. The book is about a boy whose name is Branwell and one day when he comes home from school he sees his half-baby sister breathing weird and he starts to yell "Vivi, come here. It's Nikki." The babysitter, Vivian, came into the room and abuses. She tells him to call 911 and he did. When the operator comes on the phone he is silent.
Nikki lies in a coma while they send Branwell him to the Juvenile Behavioral Center where everyday his best friend Connor comes and see him. Branwell stayed in the Behavioral Center for 20 days. 10 days went by and on the 11th he was making progress, like, he was touching the letters of the alphabet and spelling out words so that Connor could talk to these people.
On the 19th and 20th day he was talking and didn't want anyone to know that, only Connor and Margaret (Connor's big sister). He finally came out of the Behavioral Center and stayed at Margaret's house.
On New Year's Eve, Branwell's dad came to pick up Branwell. He came along with Tina (Branwell's new mom) and Nikki. For the first time that Nikki was ever born Tina gave Branwell Nikki to hold.
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2.0 out of 5 stars MOTHERS - Stay Home With Your Children!!!!!!!!! June 28 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is very strange in that Here we have baby who is neglected and called a brat by the babysitter and then dropped on her head and nearly DIES.
We see no consequences come to Vivian except that she loses her job and any possibilities of working in childcare. And how could one Nanny agency provide that restriction. That's a police matter!
I thought it was so gross that Branwell did not tell his parents that Vivian was not taking good care of HIS sister.
We hear nothing of what should have been ULTRA guilt and ULTRA rage from the parents. How would a real mother feel if she handed over her responsibility to care for her child into the hands of someone who DID NOT care for her, didn't even change her diapers enough and who almost KILLED her. Personally I woudl almost feel like killing myself. WHY HAVE CHILDREN if you are going to pawn them off without a second look back?? Having children is not something you put on your "To Do" list and when they are born you go on to the next item.
Niki opening her eyes and smiling at her mother who said "Mother's here" is funny. Niki would hardly know who she was! They must have had extreme minimal time with her, coming home at 6:00 pm every eve. She would have thought Vivian was her mother and Branwell her dad.
Personally THEY neglected and abused their baby daughter for not caring enough to have quality care for her (which ideally is one of the parents)
I think that makes this story so weak and shallow and dangerous.
We see none of the remorse or reparations. In fact at the end they are getting another babysitter!!!! Makes me sick!
I liked the relationship between Margaret and Connor but that's about it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another Very Good book by a Very Good Author June 5 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
Something has happened to Branwell Zamborska. This boy who loves not only words, and their power, but the sound of his own voice has gone mute. Accused of dropping his sister, Branwell, or Bran, has been taken into custody. Branwell's best friend Connor takes it upon himself to find out what happened on that fateful day, convinced that this will allow his friend to start talking again. Alternating between flashback and present day events Connor is a likable, but admittedly not perfect, narrator. Konigsburg does an excellent job of tackling some of the deep and powerful issues revolving around adolescence in a serious manner, but avoids making the book feel like a downer. Through his investigation Connor discovers as many things about himself as he does about Bran leading to a satisfying conclusion.
McGillin does an a mostly good job of giving each of the characters a distinct voice, and especially, and surprisingly so, with the female characters. His narration makes for easy listening and adds definite value to the already very good book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not great. May 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
You should know the plot by reading the other reviews so I won't explain that to you. Anyway...
This book was only OK. The goods parts were that it wasn't boring even though one of the main characters was silent and what kept me reading was that it was by E.L.K. and that I really wanted to know why the main character was silent to the bone.
However, there isn't anything particularily special about this book, and I did not like the ending. As for the problems about suitability for children, which again you should know from other reviews, speaking AS a child there is nothing there I didn't see on TV or on the internet anyway. However, I was a bit uncomfortable reading it and I'm pretty lax about sexuality. Parents should read this book first and then decide wether or not to read it to your children. However, just because it's PG-13 book doesn't mean it's a bad book, most parents were just angry about that because they weren't expecting it-it was marketed towards middle schoolers.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Silent to the Bone
"Silent to the Bone" deals with a number of issues; it confronts divorce, friendship, sexual attraction, parent and child relationships, second marriages and child abuse. Read more
Published on June 9 2008 by Pauline
2.0 out of 5 stars Rats. Obvious and cheap work from a good writer.
Who did it first, DiCamillo with Tale of Despereaux, or Konigsburg with this?
What I mean is, fine writers putting out silly, under edited cliches. Read more
Published on July 2 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Interseting Reading
The novel Silent to the bone by E.L. Konigsburg was a novel about two friends who learned how to not take things for granted. Read more
Published on April 11 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Struck Dumb
Silent to the Bone was a fairly easy read book, but yet you can really get into it. The characters feelings were portrayed very well. Read more
Published on April 11 2004 by sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent to the Bone
Silent to the Bone written by E.L. Konigsburg is an awesome book. The author did a great job of showing character growth through the main characters, Branwell and Connor. Read more
Published on April 10 2004 by Lauren
4.0 out of 5 stars Silence speaks louder than words
This book is great because it shows how a good friendship can overcome many obstacles. For example, in this book, Conner Kane helps his temporarily mute friend Branwell Zamborska... Read more
Published on April 10 2004 by "chosenone55"
4.0 out of 5 stars Utopia??? I think not...
This book is a great teacher of how people in the extremes of society live. First it depicts a utopian society where everything is smoothly run, but on the other hand, there is... Read more
Published on April 10 2004 by "chosenone55"
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
First of all, I should state that it was not any of the sexual innuendo that bothered me. Judy Blume was writing about "Viagra moments" decades before this writer. Read more
Published on April 10 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars No Bones to Pick With This One
This was a very good book, and the author does a great job of keeping you guessing constantly, until the very end of the book. Read more
Published on April 10 2004
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