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I admit I chose The Naming of Tishkin Silk by Glenda Millard to read to my children based on the book jacket description, which says that Griffin is an uncommon boy who meets a once-in-a-lifetime friend, Princess Layla, and “just like the mythical beast whose name he bears, Griffin discovers that he has uncommon courage and the heart of a lion.” That lead me to believe the book would contain some magic and fairy-tale elements.

In that way, the book was rather disappointing, like it was oversold. BUT once I had digested three or four chapters and figured out it was a book based very much in reality, I began to be drawn in by its charmingly good writing and delicate story.

Griffin Silk is the lone boy in a family of girls. He had believed he was the last of the children until a new baby, another sister, was born. The sister and mother are gone away when the story begins and Griffin has a secret that he holds inside.

He meets a best friend who happens to be a girl named Layla. She is able to draw things out of Griffin that no one else even knows enough to care about. The innocent friendship of children is portrayed beautifully through Griffin and Layla’s frolics in nature and other antics.

Griffin’s secret as you may have guessed is about his mother and sister, but I’ll stop there so the ending won’t be revealed. This sentimental story’s end was enough to make my four-year-old cry. Bittersweet. Sad yet happy. Friendship and family give strength.

Typically, I read one chapter (out of eleven total chapters) a day to my three children. They BEGGED to hear more at each chapter’s finish, which confirms the appeal of this tale.

See more book reviews on our library’s blog:

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:56h, 10 January Reply

    Trying to drive traffic to the Library website?


  • The Bauer Family
    Posted at 12:38h, 10 January Reply

    Sounds like a good story. I love that the library has a section of ’employee picks’ now!

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