- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Orchard Books (Sept. 1 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780531300510
- ISBN-13: 978-0531300510
- ASIN: 053130051X
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.9 x 26.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #552,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Silver Packages Hardcover – Sep 1 1997
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4. Full-page watercolor paintings decorate this warm, sentimental story loosely based on actual events. Rylant traces the origins of an Appalachian "Christmas Train" that travels through the mountains each year on December 23 to a rich man who wished to repay a debt of kindness he had received many years before. He faithfully returns and tosses silver packages from the caboose to the coal-town children who wait by the tracks. One such child is Frankie, who longs for a doctor's kit every year; instead he gets much-needed socks or mittens along with small toys. As an adult, he moves back to the town to live and work, having fulfilled his dream of becoming a doctor. With her clear, balanced, and well-paced storyteller's voice, the author builds the anticipation and excitement that the children?and especially Frankie?feel at the train's annual arrival. Although the heroic profile of this child-turned-man makes him more of a symbol than a real person, his story is capably told. The illustrations provide panoramic views of the Appalachian countryside, with deep nighttime blues and wintry colors, strengthening the sense of place. A well-rendered reflection on the importance of giving and sharing.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
As a child in West Virginia, Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant devoured comic books and paperback romances. She never dreamed of being a writer until she took one college English class. Then she became "hooked on great writing...I didn't know about this part of me until I went to collegedidn't know that I loved beautiful stories." One night, inspired by the Southern writer, James Agee, she wrote her first picture book, When I Was Young in the Mountains, which was an instant success. Since then, she's written more than 60 children's books and received numerous awards, including the Newbery and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award. With simplicity and grace, Rylant's books explore such subjects as aging, the trials of spirituality, the loss of a loved one, and the spirit and integrity of family life with all its joys and hardships. Rylant has said, "Books alter our hearts." Her books are a testament to this promise. Rylant lives in the Pacific Northwest. For more information about Cynthia Rylant, visit: scholastic.com/tradebooks
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Based on the train that delivers packages each November, this tells the story of a boy whose holiday magic depends on the gifts thrown from the train. Year after year, he never receives the Christmas present he dreams of. His disappoint results in a strong message that makes this book so memorable.
The book imagines a back story to the train of a generous rich gentleman trying to pay back a town's kindness, and this same mood permeates the story. Perhaps not historically accurate, but certainly appreciated and appealing to the imagination.
The illustrations are vivid and details and full of expression.
This is one that is hard to read with a dry eye.