Review Blog

Aug 08 2012

Under a silver moon by Anne Fine

cover image

Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 9781406319248.
Haroun is the son of a Sultan. From the moment of his birth he enjoys a life of luxury and privilege. Fine ladies dress him, prepare his food and watch over him continuously. He is carried around in a royal bier and spends his time reading while sitting on the royal throne. It might seem like a perfect existence but Haroun will soon learn that too much of a good thing can be very bad.
Akil was born at the same time as Haroun and lives in the palace grounds. His mother is a kitchen servant and his father is the head gardener. When Haroun visits the garden one day he is delighted to find someone his own age. The two boys become firm friends and spend each day playing outside. However the time comes when Haroun must learn how to be a proper prince and he can no longer visit his friend.  Unfortunately Haroun becomes mysteriously ill and not wanting see his dear friend suffer, Akil decides to help him find the key to good health.
This is a delightful story with a moral tale that younger readers will enjoy. On most pages charming illustrations intersperse the text which will help younger readers maintain interest. It is the kind of short story that teachers may like to read out loud. The children are likely to have fun guessing about the nature of Haroun's sickness and the secret of his cure.
Tina Cain

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