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Silver Squirrel

Daniel Ritchie

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : 1st Books Library

Published : 2004

Copyright : Daniel Ritchie 2004

ISBN-10 : PB 1-41078-945-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-41078-945-7

Publisher's Write-Up

Silver Squirrel knows he’s different. He is drawn to Sandy Brown, a seemingly gentle, quirky young female, but he’s not comfortable in the squirrel colony where she lives.

Silver likes the birds too. Is that normal for a prime and healthy young squirrel? Silver doubts it, but that doesn’t stop him from befriending two crows.

When old Jacob encourages Silver to take a mate and act like other squirrels, he resists. How could he ever fit in? How could he ever compete?
It doesn’t help that for some reason, he has drawn the relentless focus of the Hawk upon himself. But the ruthless raptor doesn’t want him for a meal. Something far worse is brewing on the hilltop overlooking the squirrel hammock.

Now, the time has come that Silver must take his place among the colony, or risk loosing his potential mate altogether. Unfortunately, what he has planned will lead them all to disaster!

Silver squirrel is a celebration of nature. It is a thoughtful exploration of the heart of a common animal and a compelling fantasy adventure. It’s the story of one small animal striving for hope in the face of constant danger and societal changes, and as a result transforming himself, his tribe, his friends the crows, and even his enemy, the Hawk.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Jessica (260807) Rating (8/10)
Review by Molly Martin (110404) Rating (9/10)

Review by Jessica
Rating 8/10
Dan Ritchie, a professional computer graphics animator, has published Silver Squirrel, which in 1992 was an idea for a short animated film. All of Dan's ideas for this story turned into a draft for a 13-episode series before being published in book format.

Silver Squirrel is the enchanting, nature filled adventure story of a colony of guess what -squirrels! This squirrel is rather different and he struggles to become a part of them. He discovers that he is very fond of the birds but Silver is not sure if that is quite a normal thing for a young squirrel to feel. He is a special friend to some crows. Old Jacob keeps a journal and tries to encourage Silver to settle down and find a mate but it doesn’t really work. What is going on over the hill overlooking the squirrel’s hammock? Silver quite likes Sandy a gentle, soft lovely female squirrel but will he be able to avoid the attention of the Hawk. What is it he wants?

This is a delightful fantasy book in which the striving of one small squirrel in his own little community will give you great pleasure. How he faces troubles and change within his group is told in beautiful descriptive language. A pleasure to read and in fact reminded me a bit of the Wind in The Willows.
Jessica (26 August 2007)

Review by Molly Martin
Rating 9/10
Jacob Artwood-Brown, is a wise patriarch of the squirrel colony. When Shara is taken by a hawk after being widowed it is left to Jacob to help rear their orphaned son. After a time Silver leaves the comfort of ‘The Lodge’ to live a solitary existence on the edge of the colony. Jacob’s niece Sandy is a lovely young squirrel and when she and Silver meet again as young adult squirrels neither really remembers their childhood spent together.

Sandy is out hunting for berries, she is supposed to be looking for flea bane. Silver and his friend Barti-mouse are playing when Sandy appears. A storm wreaks havoc upon the homes of those in the colony and on the outskirts alike. Many are injured, some are dead, homes and food stores are gone. A bleak winter looms before the group.

Timothy Bushtail, friend to Sandy’s widowed mother Beverly thinks the group should venture across the valley to The Lodge. Jacob saw the glow of the fire from across the valley and knows that he may soon have visitors when the worried group sets out. Crows, open areas, hawks, weasels, near starvation all must be met before the intrepid travellers are able to find safety and new homes. Silver is not at all certain that he really belongs. He likes crows, he is different. Silver struggles to find his place in the colony as he deals with the enormous problems facing the group.

Writer Ritchie has wrought a well-crafted tale filled with challenging experiences, tumult and adventure. Silver Squirrel is a excellently written work whose inception was in 1992 as a short animated film. Ritchie notes the story for the film progressed faster than the animation and what began as a 1 minute short turned into a draft for a 13 episode series and ultimately a novel.

This masterfully written account of a young squirrel who is thrust into a predicament he did not seek or crave is filled with robust, lavishly wrought characters, scenarios, circumstances and solutions. Struggle, jeopardy and tumult abound on the pages of Silver Squirrel. Dialog between the various actors is engaging, often hard hitting and entertaining. Scenarios set against plausible nature back drops are exciting and convincing and deftly produced.

Ritchie has a canny knack for presenting a masterfully engineered, well drawn, fast paced, action packed tale wherein the reader is drawn right into the tale from the opening lines of the prologue as we read Jacob’s journal entry telling of the hawk killing Shara, and is held fast right down to the last paragraph as we smile to read of Silver learning to take his place in the colony.

Vocabulary used is well within the realm of kids from ages 10 up. The tale offered in Silver Squirrel is one sure to please older kids and adults alike.
Molly Martin (11th April 2004)

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