THE BRONZE PEN by Zilpha Keatley Snyder


Age Range: 8 - 12


It seems quite natural for Audrey to follow the duck up the hill to the cave with the old woman in it. When she tells the old woman that her most deeply held dream is to become an author, the woman gives her a bronze pen and the injunction to “use it wisely and to good purpose.” Being an author is about the only thing that brings Audrey any joy: Her father is an invalid, wheelchair-bound because of a heart condition, and her mother toils in a miserable job to pay the family’s bills. When Audrey realizes that what she writes with her bronze pen comes true, she begins to experiment with ways to change her world . . . but the results are not always what she expects. Veteran Snyder does what she does best, blending grim reality with fantasy so skillfully both Audrey and readers have trouble discerning the boundaries. Secondary characters, from Audrey’s peppery new friend to her pets, emerge fully realized. It’s a solid, slightly old-fashioned inquiry into the power of the pen, the limits of hope and the necessity of dreams. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-4201-6
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2008


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