Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: Otto of the Silver Hand by

Otto of the Silver Hand

Book Description:
A rich and engrossing thread of Romance runs through this tale of the motherless son of a valiant robber baron of Medieval Germany. Young Otto, born into a warring household in an age when lawless chiefs were constantly fighting each other or despoiling the caravans of the merchant burghers, is raised in monastery only to return to his family's domain and become painfully involved in the blood-feud between his father and the rival house of Trutz-Drachen.

This narrative is told with Howard Pyle's consummate skill and illustrated with some of the most enchanting sketches ever done for a book of this type. Like the same author's version of The Story of King Arthur and His Knights and his collection of original stories known as The Wonder Clock, this book has become a legend, a modern story with the feel and sound of an ancient tale. It is a reading adventure that youngsters will not soon forget.

My thoughts:
I was hesitant to pick up Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle for our new read aloud, since the last Pyle book I read aloud caused a great deal of sleepiness on the reader's part. Thankfully, Otto of the Silver Hand was much easier to read!

Otto of the Silver Hand really does a good job of illustrating life in the Middle Ages. The life of Otto is surrounded with heartache, brutality and  vengeance, but through it all Otto comes out being able to forgive and lead a peaceful life. SPOILER ALERT: Otto loses a hand. The story does not go into detail, and it is shown in an element of surprise.

My kids enjoyed this story, though my daughter was upset that he lost his hand. My son enjoyed the whole story and thought it should have 5 stars when I was entering it into our Shelfari shelf. I do recommend this for older kids and at several points I had to stop and help the kids explain things. Overall, I have to say the Otto gave a lot of food for thought and is a story that doesn't leave you after you read the last page.


  1. I've never heard of this one! I'm adding this to my list of Medieval stories for next year's history study! :-)

  2. My boys loved Howard Pyle, but I was glad I read this one on my own (instead of a read-aloud). I found the part about his hand very disturbing.



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