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Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story Hardcover – September 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1St Edition edition (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 053130051X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531300510
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4. Full-page watercolor paintings decorate this warm, sentimental story loosely based on actual events. Rylant traces the origins of an Appalachian "Christmas Train" that travels through the mountains each year on December 23 to a rich man who wished to repay a debt of kindness he had received many years before. He faithfully returns and tosses silver packages from the caboose to the coal-town children who wait by the tracks. One such child is Frankie, who longs for a doctor's kit every year; instead he gets much-needed socks or mittens along with small toys. As an adult, he moves back to the town to live and work, having fulfilled his dream of becoming a doctor. With her clear, balanced, and well-paced storyteller's voice, the author builds the anticipation and excitement that the children?and especially Frankie?feel at the train's annual arrival. Although the heroic profile of this child-turned-man makes him more of a symbol than a real person, his story is capably told. The illustrations provide panoramic views of the Appalachian countryside, with deep nighttime blues and wintry colors, strengthening the sense of place. A well-rendered reflection on the importance of giving and sharing.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Rylant's story is enhanced by the paintings of Chris K. Soentpiet, whose renderings of frosty Appalachian days and a young boy's memories are vibrant. Together, Ryland and Soentpiet have created a story for children and parents too. (Ages 4 to 8) -- The New York Times Book Review, Rosemary L. BrayRosemary L. Bray

More About the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of numerous distinguished novels and picture books for young readers. In addition to her beginning-reader series: Henry and Mudge, Poppleton, and Mr. Putter and Tabby, as well as her Cobble Street Cousins early-chapter series, she is also the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Missing May, the Newbery Honor Book A Fine White Dust, and two Caldecott Honor-winning picture books.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
I am a teacher and I use this book each year in my class.
maypo50
Even when you KNOW what the outcome will be, you can't help but FEEL the emotions the writer conveys so well!
L. Olfert
Each time I read this heart-warming tale I get chills and cry.
Justine Rutherford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Having lived in Appalachia for many years, I was excited to read a book based upon the efforts of "The Santa Train." (Which, Kitt, does exist, and which uses the means described in the story, like it or not). The real train traverses areas of West Virginia and Kentucky every December, and provides a semblance of Christmas to children in some of America's poorest communities. This story elegantly captures the essece of the spiritual reality behind the experience as well as the sense of rootedness and comunity that ties the region together. I am a chaplain now, living in the midwest, and every Christmas I read it to children at the hospital where I work. They understand it immediately, and find it to be healing, hopeful, and helpful.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By L. Olfert on December 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A dear teacher friend recommended this book and said she couldn't read it to her class without crying! I thought I would be able to read it to my grandson without tearing up, but alas...he had to finish the last few pages! (Much to his delight!) It is such a gentle, tender story. Even when you KNOW what the outcome will be, you can't help but FEEL the emotions the writer conveys so well! Outstanding illustrations put this book in a rare class!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you want to read a great book then read Silver Packages because it will just touch your heart. It all started when no one had anything so every Christmas a man came and threw silver packages out the back of the train. Chris Soentpiet's illustrations are colorful and interesting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
On the first reading of this book, I found my voice catching in a number of spots. The illustrations are so tastefully done and the story is so beautifully told. Our family was especially touched by the reminder of the importance of giving something back to those around us.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My favorite part in the story is where Frankie does not get what he wants. I like the illustrations, because they are very realistic. I give this book five stars. Read this book to find out what are in the Silver Packages.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I like Chris Soentpiet's book called Silver Packages. The pictures he drew were OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! The book was outstanding! I like the part when the boy is holding his first one in front of the Christmas tree.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 1997
Format: Hardcover
My five year-old sat speechless while I read and I was spell-bound by the illustrations. A marvelous story of giving to others and dreams being fulfilled. This will become a seasonal favorite for us. I will wrap at least one package in silver paper to remind us to give to others.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Chris Soentpiet's illustrations are GREAT! I love how he made the shadow and the light shining on the people! I love how he drew the people. I love this book because it is EXCELLENT!I give this book 5 stars.
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