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Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose
     

Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose

4.5 2
by Diana Leszczynski
 

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FERN WISHES SHE had normal parents and a normal name. Instead, she has eccentric botanist parents who named her Fern, after her father’s favorite plant. Lily, Fern’s mother, assures her one day she’ll understand their love of plants, but Fern can’t believe it. She hates plants and could do with less of them in her life.

Then Lily

Overview

FERN WISHES SHE had normal parents and a normal name. Instead, she has eccentric botanist parents who named her Fern, after her father’s favorite plant. Lily, Fern’s mother, assures her one day she’ll understand their love of plants, but Fern can’t believe it. She hates plants and could do with less of them in her life.

Then Lily disappears suddenly while attending to a mysterious and rare Silver Rose. Fern and her dad are heartbroken, but have no idea what could have happened, until one day, Fern learns she has a one-of-a-kind talent: she can communicate with plants, and so could her mother! Using her newfound skill, she learns that her mother is in terrible danger, and she is the only one who can save her. With a little help from her friends, the plants . . .

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cara Chancellor
Fern Verdant is pretty sure her parents love plants more than they love her. Why else would Lily and Olivier, both world-renowned botanists, move her away from her best friend to the tiny, dank town of Nedlaw, Oregon? Of course, Fern knows why they moved. It was so her father could study the fern species he had just discovered, now designated—humorlessly, in Fern's opinion—the Verdant Fern. Fern's dislike for all things flora intensifies when her mother, an endangered-plant scientist, disappears while on a mission to save a one-of-a-kind metallic silver rose. Long after everyone else presumes Lily is dead, Fern's dreams convince her that her mother is still alive. On her thirteenth birthday, she receives confirmation� from a trumpet flower. Lily Verdant, it turns out, had a secret, one which her daughter now shares: the Verdant women can talk to plants. Suddenly, Fern is thrust into a new world of discovery and danger, depending on the very plants she despised to rescue the mother she loves. Under Leszczynski's guidance, Fern inhabits a Roald Dahl-ian world in which parents are loveably clueless, acronyms are hilariously revealing—enter NITPIC, the Nedlaw Institute for the Treatment and Prevention of Insanity in Children—and secret potions can turn villains into pigs without making the reader feel as though fantasy has unfurled too far. Ideal for either end-of-day reading aloud or as a curriculum addition with science and geography applications, Fern's adventures will find a welcome place on any young reader's bookshelf. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8

Fern Verdant, daughter of two botanists, is unhappy when her family moves to remote Oregon so that her father can study a recently discovered fern. Her life gets even worse when her mother, Lily, disappears after going to the aid of a sick plant, the rare Silver Rose. Lily is kidnapped by the henchmen of evil, anti-environment Henry Saagwalla, who wants to unravel the mystery of how she knows which plants are in need of her help. Lily's secret is revealed to Fern on the morning of her 13th birthday, when she learns that she has inherited her family's gift for communicating telepathically with plants and will follow her mother as their next protector. Fern uses her new abilities to pursue Lily's trail, encountering a boat of independent orphans and a variety of strong-willed plants as she travels to Sri Lanka. While the ultimate reunion of the Verdant family won't surprise readers, there are enough plot twists to catch and hold their attention. Though the depictions of the adults are a bit exaggerated, Fern's search for her mother and the decisions she is forced to make add depth to her character, and her growth in her communication with plants is realistic and intriguing.-Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375952135
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
11/11/2008
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Diana Leszczynski has always wanted to write books. But before she became an author she held a bunch of different jobs, including reporter, researcher, film developer, and yoga teacher. She has traveled around the world and seen many amazing things. One day she finally decided it was time to write. Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose is her first novel, and she is busily at work on her next.
    She was born in England and raised in Canada; she now lives in California with her husband and a cat named Mouse.

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Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME. I HAD GOTTEN IT FROM THE LIBRARY ONE TIME AND THEN I WANTED TO READ IT AGAIN AND I FOUND IT. DEFINATLY BUY IT!!!!!
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
Both of Fern's parents, Olivier and Lily, are world-famous botanists. In fact, Lily's uncanny ability to help nearly extinct species keeps her constantly on the go to exotic locations. But Fern isn't happy always playing second fiddle to plants. For many years she has wanted nothing to do with nature and the outdoors. That's especially true once her parents move to the fictional town of Nedlaw (a play on Walden?), Oregon, where Fern feels out of place among the more glamorous students with cosmopolitan working mothers at her school. She's downright embarrassed by her mother's clothes, and the fact that her hair always seems to be a bit wild. So when Lily leaves on another trip to help another plant, Fern doesn't even say goodbye-something she regrets when Lily disappears and is presumed dead. Soon, though, Fern discovers that she shares a gift her mother passed down to her. Plants can talk to her, and she can talk back. She finds out that her mother is alive, being held captive in a cave somewhere far away by an evil man who wants to manipulate her gift. How will Fern find her, especially when her father has her committed to an institution after he sees her conversing with a willow tree? And how can she make anyone understand her certainty that her mother is still alive, when she can't tell anyone about her ability to communicate with plants without losing her gift? Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose by Diana Leszczynski recounts Fern's adventures as she seeks to save her mother and nurture her blossoming gift. Her travels find her in the clutches of a deranged psychiatrist who hates children, and on a boat at sea with a group of orphans. During her search she is both hastened and hindered from reaching her destination by members of the plant world. Along for the ride is a single petal from the silver rose Fern's mother was helping when she was kidnapped. There's a strong message of respecting nature and all it has to offer, and the book won the 2008 Green Earth Book Award Honor. To be certain, there are many "green" messages, but Fern Verdant doesn't feel at all preachy as it shows Fern learning how to use her talent for good. You'll be happy to accompany Lily on her quest to find her mother, be reunited with her father, help the orphans and save the silver rose. While girls aged 9 to 12 will enjoy Fern's adventures, their mothers can also appreciate how Leszczynski pokes fun at many aspects of the adult world, including psychiatrists, psychiatric facilities, lifeguards, spy agencies and scientists who may be too smart for their own good. Moms may also be able to prompt discussion of why teen girls often get embarrassed to be seen with their moms, and how moms and daughters can learn to appreciate the things that are important to each of them.
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