FICTION

Silverworld

Crown. Mar. 2020. 304p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780553509670.
COPY ISBN
Gr 3-5–Sami’s Lebanese grandmother Sitti’s health is declining, and she is saying things that only Sami seems to understand. Sami’s father has died, and now her family wants to move Sitti into a home. But Sitti has always told Sami stories of magic, and the young girl believes that, with that magic, she can change things. When Sami falls through the old mirror in her room, she finds Silverworld. Believing that if she can save Silverworld from the invasive Shadow Queen Nixie, she can save Sitti, Sami embarks on a quest and finds she is more special than she ever thought. While this world is painted as a magical fantasy with dark Shadows, who talk and transform, and light Flickers, who have all colors of skin and hair, it feels rooted in reality. Readers may struggle to get lost in the magic. The book takes place in the modern world and has references to current issues, but lacks the depth to deliver a nuanced portrayal of the Bedouin and Arab cultures that are very much alive today, and not a romanticization limited to flowing clothes and golden headdresses. The occupants of Silverworld feel one-dimensional and inconsistent in a way that is distracting. There is also a lack of emotional intensity that these kinds of adventures usually elicit. While the author’s note emphasizes the importance of story and giving a voice to those trying to fit between cultures, there are other examples of this done much more successfully.
VERDICT Though this character gives a true meaning to the notion of living in two worlds, the story does not develop enough depth to make it a first purchase.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 6000+ annual reviews of books, databases, and more

As low as $12/month