A Time to Keep Silent

( 3 )

Overview

Thirteen-year old Clair Lothrop’s world is falling apart. Her mother has died. Her father spends his evenings shut into his study. In a desperate attempt to get her father’s attention, Clair stops talking.

Clair’s vow of silence gets her father’s attention, but not in the way she had hoped. Her father, who is the pastor of a large metropolitan church, resigns to begin a mission in the remote woods of northern...

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Overview

Thirteen-year old Clair Lothrop’s world is falling apart. Her mother has died. Her father spends his evenings shut into his study. In a desperate attempt to get her father’s attention, Clair stops talking.

Clair’s vow of silence gets her father’s attention, but not in the way she had hoped. Her father, who is the pastor of a large metropolitan church, resigns to begin a mission in the remote woods of northern Michigan, taking Clair with him. Clair is furious at having to leave her friends. The woods are frightening. Her new house is a tumble-down shack where raccoons and mice have made their home.

But everything changes when Clair meets Dorrie, a girl her age who is hiding out in the woods from her hateful grandmother and her violent father. With her goat, Guinevere, and her knowledge of nature, Dorrie is a survivor. Through this surprising new friendship, Clair finds strength and courage she didn’t know she had…

When thirteen-year-old Clair's relationship with her minister father changes after her mother's death, she stops speaking, and the subsequent events change both their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Provident Book Finder
Whelan writes convincingly in the first person. Her experience with young people and with northern Michigan make this book sing with feeling.
School Library Journal
This book really belongs to Dorrie, whose gutsy personality and life of adventure will excite readers' imagination.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Clair has stopped talking in a desperate attempt to get her father's attention after her mother's death. Ironically, her success at putting him in touch with reality has also given him the courage to fulfill a lifelong calling: to establish a mission church. As a minister, he feels guilty about his affluent, suburban life style and transplants himself and his daughter to an economically depressed, rural community. There Clair meets Dorrie, also 13 and motherless, who lives alone in the basement of their unfinished house while her abusive, violent father is in jail. She is fascinated by her new friend's unending tricks of survival, and Dorrie loves having a silent partner. The novel climaxes with an exciting chase through the woods when Dorrie's father is released and wants to teach his daughter a lesson. Clair is frightened into speaking, her father becomes Dorrie's willing protector, and Clair decides she loves her new life. This book really belongs to Dorrie, whose gutsy personality and life of adventure will excite readers' imagination. Clair's character lacks complexity, and her first-person narrative fails to give any insight into the psychological machinations behind her muteness. Young teens who are satisfied by a smoothly flowing story with an uncomplicated plot will enjoy this, but anyone hoping for more will find it to be a series of missed opportunities.-Margaret Cole, Oceanside Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802852557
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 131
  • Sales rank: 1,022,768
  • Age range: 11 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Gloria Whelan
Gloria Whelan

National Book Award-winning author Gloria Whelan weaves rich historical detail into this compelling mystery. Ms. Whelan is the bestselling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award, Parade of Shadows, and Listening for Lions. She lives in northern Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

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