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The Naming of Tishkin Silk Hardcover – October 13, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374354812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374354817
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,060,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–5—In the Silk family, a child's first birthday is a significant one: it's the day the youngster is given a name. Griffin and his five older sisters all had their special moment, but their younger sister died before her first birthday and their mother is recovering from her grief in a hospital. Griffin is attending public school for the first time in his life, has been put a grade ahead, and is having difficulty fitting in with the other kids. Then he meets Layla, who immediately connects with Griffin and his unusual family. He even shows her the elaborate Naming Day books that were created for each Silk child. But Griffin cannot bring himself to tell Layla much about his baby sister (whom he has named Tishkin), or that he is afraid that he didn't love her enough—that his jealousy caused her death and his mother's withdrawal. Slowly and patiently, Layla teases out Griffin's feelings and eventually suggests that a Naming Day party for his sister would be a wonderful event for the entire family. Tishkin's party provides the healing that the family needs and a new beginning for all. This book is a little gem. Griffin is described as an uncommon boy (he was born on February 29), but his feelings and fears are those of all children. Barton's soft pen-and-ink drawings perfectly fit this quiet story.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It hasn’t been easy for Griffin Silk since his mother and baby sister went away. Formerly homeschooled, he has a rough entry into public school, where he is teased for being younger than his classmates and for his large family. He hopes that his mother will return and fears that she won’t—a heavy secret burden—and he wonders if somehow it was his fault that she left. But with the help of classmate Layla’s caring friendship, and his family, Griffin gains insights and inner strength, and he discovers the importance of receiving and offering love and support. Illustrated with softly rendered black-and-white drawings, the gentle, descriptive narrative, touched with droll humor, intimately conveys the process of facing sorrows and discovering small joys in everyday life, and it features a likable, sympathetically drawn protagonist and other appealing, diverse characters, including Griffin’s lively older sisters and loving, reassuring grandmother. Originally published in Australia, this engaging, compassionate portrait of loss, grief, and healing has a quietly powerful impact. Grades 4-6. --Shelle Rosenfeld

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Portianay VINE VOICE on November 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This middle-to-upper elementary book deals magically with the themes of family love, peer pressure, bullying, being new and afraid, separation, death in the family... the list goes on, and is incredibly long, for such a little book! A standout theme, from among this list of important ones, is the idea that a child often blames himself for trouble of any sort in a family. This story handles that magnificently, and spotlights the necessity for abiding love in a child's life--and one very good friend!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bridget Hamilton on April 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Naming of Tishkin Silk is a gentle tale to take your breathe away.
It is one of the few books my ten year old child would persist with, reading by torch after bedtime, because she was captivated by the lives of the Silks.
The central characters Griffin Silk and his best friend are extraordinarily warm, thoughtful young people, doing their own thing in the primary school ground and sorting through a deep family sadness the rest of the time.
Lots of grownups (would) have trouble seeing & understanding the things Griffin can see and coming to decisions about how to help.
There is a rare an memorable quality to this picture of a family's life on the outskirts of a country town.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Good Books Only! on January 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally, an early chapter book written for kids in the middle grades of elementary school that is artistic, thoughtful, unique, and beautifully written. Often books at this level are so poorly written it's painful to get through them. This one, though, is written so well it surprised me. The prose are tight, beautifully rendered, and correctly done - no amateur writing errors or faux pas. Glenda Millard pulled this off, in a difficult genre/category, even while including creative, emotional, and unique scenes and characters. A wonderful little story, written by an apparent pro. I bought it for Patrice Barton's illustrations- never expected to love the story, too. But I did!! A fantastic little gem!!
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