Friday, April 19, 2013

Burnish Me Bright by Julia Cunningham

Title: Burnish Me Bright
Author: Julia Cunningham
Illustrator: Don Freeman
Publication Date: 1970
Length: 80 pages

A young mute boy named Auguste, kept as a servant and abused, escapes to live with an old man named Hilaire, a retired famous mime. Auguste is amazed by Hilaire's skill, and learns from him how to communicate without words.

I'm not sure when and where this story is supposed to take place, but it's in a time and place in which it's socially acceptable to be horribly cruel to a mute person, and witch hunts are apparently not out of the ordinary.

But amidst all the cruelty, several children become better people as a result of Auguste's magic. So there is a message of hope even during the sadness.

4 stars. A really nice story.

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