Kid’s Book Review: Silverwing

Kid’s Book Review: Silverwing

About the Book and Author

This moving story is about a ten year old boy who is a bit of a loner at school. He rescues and cares for an injured wild goose and whilst he wants it to get better, as his bond with it grows over time, he dreads the day it might fly away and leave him.

Nurturing for the wild creature helps his own emotional healing process, as he grieves for his mother and connecting with Nature also helps him to build a build a bridge to his father, who also mourns his wife’s absence from the family home.

Illustrated with gorgeous drawings throughout by artist Ishy Walters, this story by Kenneth Steven will stay with readers even after they close the book. It is published by Neem Tree Press and we recommend it for aged 11 years +

silverwing cover
Kenneth Steven

Kenneth Steven is a successful poet, novelist and children’s writer who has published some 25 books. His BBC Radio 4 documentary on the island of St Kilda won him a Sony Award. His previous novel, The Well of the North Wind (SPCK, 2016), was a spiritual tale set on 6th-century Iona, whilst Beneath the Ice (Saraband, 2016) tells the story of the Arctic Sami people. He grew up in Highland Perthshire in the heart of Scotland, and now lives in Argyll on the country’s west coast; it’s these landscapes that have inspired the lion’s share of both his poetry and prose.

Book Review

Despite all the sadness the main message I took away from the book was how important nature is for all of us

This was a very moving book that helped reinforce the idea that nature is so important for all of us. In this book we meet ten-year-old Douglas who has recently lost his mother to cancer. The boy and his father haven’t been able to communicate since her death, and the house is a place of great sadness. One day Douglas finds an injured Greylag goose and so begins their mission to nurse the bird back to health and repair the bond between Douglas and his Father.

My favourite part of the book was when Douglas and his father went holly picking at Christmas and they saw 3 deer just standing there. The author described the moment so well it felt like I was there with them. I liked this scene because I can imagine it happening to me in real life.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the diary entries from when Douglas’s mum was a child because it was similar to what Douglas was going through and gave him strength and a connection to his mum during his grief.

Kenneth Stevens has described all the characters so well that I can get a mental image of them. The bullies were horrible and nasty, Douglas seemed small and weak in comparison but when he was with Silverwing, the goose, his true character shone through and he was caring and confident.

This book took me a few days to read but the way the text was laid out was very clear. I liked that the book had illustrations because it helped me to visualise the setting. It was a sad story because of Douglas’s mothers death but it was great that Douglas and his father found a way to connect and cope during their grief. Despite all the sadness the main message I took away from the book was how important nature is for all of us.


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Reviewer Profile

Josh young reviewer
  • Name: Josh
  • Age: 12 years
  • Likes: animals, Minecraft and art
  • Dislikes: walking slowly and bad handwriting
  • Favourite Book: Expedition by Steve Backshaw
  • Favourite Song: I'm Still Standing by Elton John
  • Favourite Film: We Bought A Zoo