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Otto Of The Silver Hand
by Howard Pyle
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9-Although Howard Pyle's 1888 tale about medieval Germany may seem an unlikely choice for 21st century children, Otto of the Silver Hand has audience appeal for fans of the Arthurian legends. Born into a baronial family that is already engaged in a blood feud with another noble house, motherless Otto is sent to live with monks while still an infant. Reclaimed at age 12 by his militant, but loving father, the gentle-natured boy is kidnapped and mutilated by the rival family. Fortunately, Otto finds comfort with his captor's daughter, Pauline, who helps him escape. His father's courage and cunning allow the lad's safe return to the monks who place him under the emperor's protection. His silver hand is a replacement for the one Otto lost while in captivity, but his injury does not prevent him from maturing wisely and marrying Pauline. Geoffrey Howard's crisp diction and nuanced characterizations enhance this classic story which is more likely to be listened to than read. The recording opens with a brief, informative biography of Pyle, and uses his original artwork on the cover. The case is a durable plastic with useful information, and the cassettes are well-marked. While this is not a necessary purchase, it is a worthy addition to any audiobook collection seeking lesser-known classics in children's literature.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
This tale that I am about to tell is of a little boy who lived and suffered in those dark middle ages; of how he saw both the good and the bad of men, and of how, by gentleness and love and not by strife and hatred, he came at last to stand above other men and to be looked up to by all. And should you follow the story to the end, I hope you may find it a pleasure, as I have done, to ramble through those dark ancient castles.
His new home was all very strange and wonderful to Otto; the armors, the trophies, the flags, the long galleries with their ranges of rooms, the great hall below with its vaulted roof and its great fireplace of grotesquely carved stone, and all the strange people with their lives and thoughts so different from what he had been used to know.
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