Silver Shoes by Paul Miles Schneider

silverReviewed by The Bookworm (Note: The Bookworm is one of our young adult readers).

Synopsis from
“When Donald Gardner’s parents tell him they’ll be taking an exciting road trip through Kansas, he openly cringes. He is sure it will be a boring summer vacation.

But at one of their final roadside stops, they are approached by a poor woman offering to sell a strange item-a silver shoe. While Donald’s mother is initially reluctant, she is smitten with the shoe and buys it.

Wanting to impress his classmates, Donald brings it in for show-and-tell when the new school year starts. His friends liken the shoe to something out of The Wizard of Oz, and his teacher agrees the idea is not farfetched considering author L. Frank Baum wrote about “silver shoes,” not ruby slippers, which were strictly in the movie.

Donald is skeptical that the shoe is anything more than a relic, but when he accepts a dare from his two best buddies to try it on, frightening and incredible things begin to happen. And when he meets George Clarke, a reclusive man who has been in hiding for many years, Donald finds out there is a lot more to Baum’s story than he thinks.

Join Donald as he unravels Baum’s earth-shattering secret in Silver Shoes.”

Silver Shoes was a modern and clever twist of a much-loved classic. Throughout the book, I naturally predicted what would happen next, and I was rarely correct.

The twists and turns varied in their necessity to the plot. Some were big surprises altering the course of the plot, while others were smaller and only altered a present situation. This made every event much more surprising and interesting.

This book’s audience is hard to pinpoint. Originally, I figured this book was just for children (8-12), but words and situations were more intellectually advanced than an average 10 year old could comprehend. Also, the references to the Wizard of Oz series and the hidden significance to certain objects would be missed by readers who have not read the Wizard of Oz series. So in that aspect, adult readers will be able to read in-between the lines better than children. Either way, if you have or haven’t read the Wizard of Oz series, you will definitely want to after reading Silver Shoes.

Silver Shoes would be a fantastic resource for initiating discussions and project ideas in middle school Reading classes.

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