Seidler, Tor. The Dulcimer Boy. Illustrated by Brian Selznick. HarperCollins, 1979. ISBN 006623610x. $16.89. 153 pp. Reviewer: Emily Fry Reading Level: Intermediate, Young adult Rating: Outstanding Genre: Historical fiction; Subject: Dulcimer--Juvenile fiction; Orphans--Juvenile fiction; Brothers and sisters--Juvenile fiction; A weathered stranger delivers an old wicker chest to the Carbuncles' doorstep. They believe that inside will be a fabulous treasure, but instead, they find two sleeping baby boys and a beautiful silver-stringed dulcimer. For the sake of appearing charitable to their neighbors, the Carbuncles take the boys in, but William and Jules are given a room in the chilly attic, and the dulcimer is locked away until William is old enough to play it, whereupon he discovers a natural musical talent that leads him on a bittersweet path to self-discovery. The Dulcimer Boy is a haunting tale that will stay with the reader and the illustrations by Brian Selznick make the story even more poignant. Not only does the story itself make this book a good read, but the print size is a comfortable one for the eyes to follow and the words is spaced widely enough so that young readers would not feel overwhelmed by the amount of text. The language in the book is brilliant and helps to move the action of the story along at a nice pace. Seidler is an author who makes the readers think and draw their own inferences while reading the story, which is a refreshing change from other juvenile fiction books that think for the readers. Included in the book are many questions that are never answered and the ending leaves the readers knowing that William and Jules' lives are not over, but merely beginning. This is a story that would work well in a middle school classroom and could be easily incorporated into a themed unit on courage or family!
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The information available on this site, including any text, computer codes, data, artwork, video, audio, images or graphics (collectively the "Material") are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Parties other than Brigham Young University ("BYU") may own copyright in the Material. We encourage the use of this Material for non-profit and educational purposes only, such as personal research, teaching and private study. For these limited purposes, Material from this web site may be displayed and printed, and all copies must include any copyright notice originally included with the Material. Additionally, a credit line must be included with each item used, citing the article or review author, title or article or review, title of the database, sponsoring agency, date of your access to the electronic file, and the electronic address.