Title: The Girl with the Silver Eyes
Author: Willo Davis Roberts
Genre: Science Fiction
Most people found Katie strange because of her silver eyes. But she knows that’s not the only way she’s different – she can move things just by thinking about it, a gift she’s done her best to hide. When her grandmother dies, Katie is sent to live with her mother, who doesn’t understand her at all. Then Mr. Cooper moves into the apartment building, asking all sorts of questions about Katie. Katie is afraid of what Mr. Cooper might do, so when she finds out that there might be more children with gifts like hers, she decides to find them.
I first read The Girl with the Silver Eyes when I was eight, and I had read it five times by the time I turned ten. I picked it up again purely to see if it still held the same appeal six years later.
And while it didn’t hold the same magical possibility as it did for me as a child, I still enjoyed the story.
I remember connecting very well with Katie when I was younger – we were both loners, not very social, loved to read and read at a level far above our age. And while I didn’t have the same connection as a sixteen-year-old reader, I still felt for her and enjoyed following her around. And even though Katie’s only nine, she’s old for her age, if you get what I mean, and didn’t come across as childish.
I originally picked up this book on the premise of telekinesis. That wasn’t a huge focus of the story, though. It was more of Katie’s journey to find friends and acceptance, and her powers were mentioned in the same way a person with fantastic piano-playing skills’ gift might be mentioned – in a “hey, this character has this skill” kind of way. And, honestly, I enjoyed her search for the other gifted kids more than her use of her powers. (Although, I admit it, watching Katie scare the babysitter was hilarious.)
The story was definitely written in an older style, with long paragraphs and a lot of straight-out telling instead of showing through action and dialogue. The narration was more distant, too, not up-close and emotion-rife like I’m used to in modern fiction. I didn’t mind, though, either as a kid or a teen.
The Girl with the Silver Eyes was published in 1980, so it’s basically a middle grade book written before middle grade was a genre. I liked the story as a teen (although some of that might be due to nostalgia), but loved it as a kid. It’s a sweet, quick read with a theme that transcends age. I invite you to read it for yourself, and if you know a bibliophile in the 8-10 years old range, you might recommend it to them, too.