by Kenneth Oppel

Paperback, 1999



Call number

PB Opp

Call number

PB Opp

Local notes

PB Opp




Aladdin (1999), 224 pages


When a newborn bat named Shade but sometimes called "Runt" becomes separated from his colony during migration, he grows in ways that prepare him for even greater journeys.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

224 p.; 6.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
This is fast-paced adventure story. Shade, a young bat is caught in a storm and is left behind by his colony during this first winter migration. The world of the bats is full of laws and customs, and danger - Shade meets friends and enemies, mystics and madmen on his journey to rejoin the colony.
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This is a lovely blend of fantasy and animal adventure. While there is no magic used, the different senses give the bats a world view and a credible mythology that seems magical to a human reader. I especially enjoyed the different religious beliefs and mythologies that different types of bats developed, and the variety of reactions to human's banding of bats.

There's plenty of scope for spinning off into non-fiction, looking up the interesting details about bats that surface in the books - but not for a moment did research reach out and hit me on the head. There wasn't a didactic moment in the entire story.

I would recommend this to reader who like fantasy and adventure stories, especially to kids who don't like typical fantasy stories.
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LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
Shade, a young silverwing bat, is the runt of his colony, but he's got big ideas. When Shade, tired of being bullied, tries to prove his courage by catching a glimpse of the forbidden sun, he unknowingly breaks an ancient law and the owls retaliate. When the owls burn down their roost, the bats
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must begin their migration. Along the way Shade gets separated from his colony and meets a young brightwing bat named Marina. Marina has been thrown out of her colony because of a metal band placed on her by humans. Is it part of a legendary prophecy that will allow bats to fly during the day?
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LibraryThing member swimmer_shark
This book is about a bat's adventure. He was lost when his colony headed south. He met another bat, and were almost found they're colony if it weren't for 2 cannibal bats...
It is very suspenseful, I liked it a lot.
LibraryThing member okmliteracy7
Silverwing is an exciting adventure story with dramatic suspense and a thrilling plot. The story tells of betrayal, strategy, warmth, and friendship as Shade and Marina battle their way through the fear of enemies and winter. Silverwing is a gripping novel that will keep your eyes glued to the
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page. -Brooke B.
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LibraryThing member trish.
I belive that there are three book sin this series and im pretty sure i read them all when i was younger. I know i liked them growing up because i paid for them all in change from the scholastic catalogue because my mother wouldnt by them for me.
Definately a good one for teens
LibraryThing member AbbySmith
I loved this book it was a big adverture happening through the eyes of a small
childish yet daring bat.
LibraryThing member stornelli
A newborn bat, Shade, refered to as the “runt” of the colony, is determined to prove himself on the long and dangerous winter migration to Hibernaculum, millions of wingbeats to the south. During a storm, he is swept off course over the ocean, away from his family and friends but finds his way
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to their destination.

Can Lib Assoc book of the Year for Children Award
Silver Birch
Blue Heron
Red Cedar Book
Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award
Hackmatach Children’s Choice Book Award
The CNIB Tiny Torgi talking Book of the Year Award
Prix 8NC 2002 du Livre de Jeunesse (for the French edition)
Minnisota’s 2002 Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award. Award (Illinois)
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LibraryThing member madmarch
Bats are my favourite animal, so it was no surprise that I devoured this book with glee. Shade is an excellent protagonist, Goth is a terrifying villain and the novel's complex mystery will thoroughly engage you. Read this if you like bats, mythology, the environment, epic fantasy, mystery or
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anthropomorphic fiction.
What I found particularly clever was the characters' names, all of which corresponded with the characters' personalities. See for yourself if you can guess the origins of each characters' names!
Probably my favourite character of all was Zephyr, an albino bat who can 'hear' echoes of the future.
Opell writes the novel through a bats-eye view: no colour is mentioned in the book apart from monochromatic ones (bats cannot see colour), echoes are used in many inventive ways throughout the series and popular legends about bats from all over the world are changed to suit the bats' universe.
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LibraryThing member cmcvittie
Kenneth Oppel does for bats in the novel, Silverwing, what Richard Adams did for rabbits in Watership Down – he makes a creature's world into a humanized culture, complete with religious beliefs and traditions and forces of evil to be fought against. The main character, a newborn Silverwing bat
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named Shade, overcomes being blown off course in his colony's migration only to be captured and used by a jungle vampire bat which has escaped from captivity in the Northern hemisphere where Silverwings live. The fantasy is compelling and the characters appealing to young people, particularly Shade who frequently makes mistakes, yet presses forward with his strong beliefs. An award winner many times over, this should be in every elementary library.
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LibraryThing member Haeuns
Shade Silverwing is the runt of the colony. He lives a life of darkness, as bats were not allowed to see the sun due to an ancient battle. Shade takes a dare from another young Silverwing bat, and takes a peek at the sun. Unfortunately, he is spotted by a deadly owl, and barely escapes with his
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life. Enraged, the owl colonies burn his haven with hidden fire. Forced to migrate early for hibernation, Shade's colony flies a million wingbeats. During the migration, a massive storm sweeps Shade away from his colony and safety. Landing on an island, he meets Marina, a young female bat exiled from her colony because of a mysterious silver band on her wing. Together, Marina and shade journey so that they can reach their destination. Shade sets off with his new friend, dodging hostile owls and pigeons, and flying away from the deadly vampire bats, Goth and Throbb.
This book is a science fiction novel about bats. By reading this book, I learned how bats lived uncomfortably and I liked the way how the author described his thought ‘Bats are in danger’ by a story. I like this book because it tells me lots of knowledge about bats in a fun way.
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LibraryThing member Buella2140
This book has such great character development that there are times that you forget that the main characters are bats. Having a bat as the main character was unique and another drawing point. Never realized that the book never mentioned colour at all to truly be in the bat world who only see in
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black and white.
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LibraryThing member juniperSun
I know this is a juvenile book, but I loved it. I was sucked into the imaginatively created viewpoint of a bat, and especially loved the way they transmit memories and navigation sound-pictures. The interactions were so intriguing I had to keep reminding myself that Oppel was not writing about real
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LibraryThing member xicanti
You need to read this book. Really. Go out and buy it, or borrow it from the library, or steal it from a small child, or SOMETHING. It's fantastic. Kenneth Oppel builds a complex and believable world for his bats, who come across as sympathetic characters. I had such a good time with this book that
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I've actively encouraged all my friends to read it and have actually purchased it as a gift a couple of times.
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LibraryThing member aimelire
I received this book as a gift from a student. It is the first teen book that I read. I fell in LOVE with teen books thanks to this great read. To top it off, it is a Canadian author! Thank-you, Rayanna!
LibraryThing member TianaWarner
One of my favourite books. A truly unique and well-written story.
LibraryThing member BrionyMatarau
The main character in this thrilling fantisy book is Shade, a young silverwing bat who longs to be brave show his coloney what he can do.

After being seperated from his coloney, shade befriends a brightwing bat named Marina, and the two go on the biggest journey of their lives, to find Shade's
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coloney. On the way the two friends incounter a series of events and challenges, and Shade finds out that his father Cassiel, who went missing before he was born, might actually be closer than he thinks.

I would recomend this exciting book to thrill-seekers aged 10-adult.
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LibraryThing member LemurKat
This is a cute and appealing story about a brave young bat. Shade is a runt - bullied by his peers and very lucky to have survived his early days. However, he has a stubborn determination and courage that refuses to relent. He also is a little too curious for his own good. When, in an attempt to
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impress his fellow newborns, he impulsively decides to see the sun, it brings destruction and much danger down upon his community. The bats have been engaged in a centuries long way between the birds and the beasts, a war in which they refused to take sides and were banished from the day. Now, even the night has become deadly to them. When he is separated from his flock, Shade makes some unlikely allegiances - first with the brightwing, Marina and then with the fearsome tropical bats, Goth and Throbb. Danger, betrayal and the bitter bite of winter threaten him at every turn.

Oppel has captured the world of the bats in exquisite detail and great thought. His tale is limited (mostly, there is one mention of "yellow") to their monochromatic world where sound is important a sense as sight and being part of the colony is of great importance. He shows a strong understanding of animal behavior, and whilst his bats (and other animals) do behave in somewhat a humanized manner (the owls have fire, for example), it was never enough to bug me. He has created a charming fantasy world and I look forward to exploring it further.
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LibraryThing member Ber239
I don't like books about animals AT ALL, but when I read this book when I was small, I REALLY liked it (even though it's about animals!)It's an easy to read book, that is REALLY good!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just HAVE to read it! All I remember is that it was about bats who acted like people (with there
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similar problems to our's) and there was a bat society. That's about it, but I still remember it, year's from then. A MUST read!!!!!!!!
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LibraryThing member rakerman
In Part One it's reasonably interesting, a kind of Watership Down with bats. But in Part Two it takes a dark, ridiculous and horrifying turn, with a giant vampire bat named Goth who worships a god called Zotz and wants to create a breeding colony of small bats to be edible slaves. I stopped reading.
LibraryThing member yonitdm
Fun read, my 11yo also enjoyed it.
LibraryThing member Birdo82
In the tradition of other children’s animal books, like Watership Down, Silverwing is often amusing and bizarre and brutal, though it unfortunately often drags without wings.
LibraryThing member Linyarai
One of my favorites, even re-reading years later it's just as good as the first time.
LibraryThing member MissPittyPat
Exciting tale for the primary grades.
LibraryThing member NurseBob
A little tiny bat embarks on a great big quest in this first book of what promises to be a well written trilogy. Oppel presents just enough mystery to make you want to continue the series and along the way he tackles issues of identity, oppression, friendship, and resolve with just a hint of the
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supernatural in the form of a religious schism between militant jungle bats and more pacifist northern bats. But it's the owls who get the worst rep. Geared towards the primary school crowd despite some gory passages (the jungle bats are meat-eating cannibals) yet the story is complex enough to entertain older readers who just want to take a break from heavier adult fare.
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