Mobley, Jeannie Searching for Silverheels 304 pgs. McElderry Books, 2014. $16.99 Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG Violence: G
A small town Colorado girl living during the time of World War I,
Pearl, spends her days helping in her family café. She loves the old tale of
Silverheels. It was said that Silverheels was amazing dancer, who was beloved
by the entire town of miners in the 1860s, and when the smallpox epidemic
raged, she helped many of them before mysteriously disappearing. Josie, an old
woman who comes into the café to spout about the womens right to vote,
questions Pearl about her musings on Silverheels. As they argue back and forth
about the legend, Pearl starts to understand the suffragist movement, learns
more about the people around her, and some life lessons.
This is a long
drawn out book that could have been excellent if it could have hit the chopping
block hard. Its just too long and contains too many suggestive references to be
appropriate for elementary readers. Yet the main character is fairly young and innocent
and would be difficult for middle school students to relate to. I like that the
setting is in the shadow of World War I homefront in relation to the womens
voting rights, but it’s a bit lost in the drawn out Silverheels plotline. The
cover is incredibly dark, dated, and unappealing as well.
Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.