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The Silver Donkey

The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnet. Illus. Anne Spudvilas. Pub. Viking, 2004

This is a great war story that questions the morality of war without going in too deep and throwing it in your face.

Set in France during World War One it concerns a blinded soldier who has fled the battle ground and is found by two young French girls Coco and her older sister Marcelle.

In spite of stringent conditions at home the two girls help and feed the soldier who in turn gives them a silver donkey bracelet and tells them stories that involve donkeys in history, one involving a New Zealander.

The soldier then asks the girls to aid his escape home to England and herein lies the drama.

Read this story you will not forget it, I never will.

Very good for school years 5/6 but has wider appeal as Sonya Hartnett is a skilled and insightful writer and tells the story in writing that will make you weep with desire.

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