Silver Squirrel
The Crucible of Silver
Meet Silver Squirrel, a fun-loving rodent who solves his survival problems with love and forgiveness instead of swords and magic
Silver Squirrel
in Uneasy Pieces
Silver finds a mate but starts a bird war.  Oops.
It's not easy being Silver
Silver Squirrel
and the Court of Animals
When someone drops a mistletoe on Silver's head, he takes his mate on an adventure, and finds the treasure of a lifetime
Silver Squirrel eBooks
Silver Squirrel
and a Sky Full of Rabbits
Silver needs a service animal to help him with a disability, but an animal rights activist mink isn't  going to make it so easy
Silver Squirrel Adventure eBooks
Where do the strivings of one squirrel lead?

In the tradition of WATERSHIP DOWN, SILVER SQUIRREL explores the interpersonal and interspecies dynamics of an animal culture, in this case squirrels. Silver Squirrel isn’t just a King Arthur/Harry Potter in fur. He’s a free spirit with a flute torn between duty to community and his own yearnings to be friends with birds and, even more shockingly, females. In a BRAVE NEW WORLD-esque squirrel society, male squirrels, even leaders such as Timothy Brushtail are only puppets for the females, who conduct all the real business of the colony. Beverly Brown makes Hillary Clinton look like an amateur when it comes to politics and being a political spouse. However, Chelsea, er, Sandy Brown, Beverly’s daughter, feels as ambivalent as Silver about the natural order, although she isn’t fond of the birds that have destroyed their squirrel colony…especially the fearsome predator known as The Hawk. Every squirrel knows that you can’t trust birds, the Hawk in particular.

Silver Squirrel risks ostracism by befriending two crows and sheltering an injured one named Morning, whom Sandy reluctantly helps. Sandy is drawn to Silver, his gentle ways and his music, but when her own mother leaves her to fend for herself in favor of a new litter of squirrel kits, Sandy realizes she doesn’t have many role models for a lasting relationship.

Meanwhile, Jacob, Sandy’s uncle, tries to maneuver Silver into a destiny a la Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda grooming Luke Skywalker, or more appropriately, Obi-Win and Qui-Gon Jinn trying to keep Anakin Skywalker from following the dark impulses that birth…well, we won’t spoil “Star Wars: Episode III.” At least Silver doesn’t say “I have a bad feeling about this.” Like Anakin marrying Senator Padme Amidala, Silver falls in love with a woman that, by the rules of his society, should never be his to cherish. But when you befriend birds, forbidden love is the next step. Where will the strivings of one squirrel lead? Ritchie’s entertaining, character-driven, philosophical adventure novel offers no easy answers, just a richly layered story and allegory intended to be, and would have been, a great series a la “Redwall.”
SILVER SQUIRREL is a fantasy adventure set in a forest.  It is about a squirrel colony who face danger and other survival problems through hope and faith .

Silver Squirrel, the hero of the story, is a young , vulnerable male squirrel who is sensitive and friendly to all forest animals despite their differences.  He has got an odd relationship with other species and his close friendship with a crow makes him special , yet very different from the other squirrels in his community.  He is fond of Sandy , a female squirrel but he is shy and does not know how to show  his affection to her.

Sandy Brown, a young female squirrel , grows up with Silver in the same family.  She is lovable and caring and soon falls in love with Silver who is too reserved to show his feelings.  Beverly, her mom , soon moves home to raise her newly born litter, but Sandy relies on Silver to protect her as he is her best friend.

The story starts with a prologue, where old Jacob, the oldest squirrel in the community, writes his reports about their colony.  Silver is a lonely young squirrel whose parents have been killed by the Hawk, the worst enemy of the animals, and grows up in a surrogate family in the forest.  Sandy , a female squirrel, is his regular playmate, but he always feels as if he does not belong to the squirrel community.  One day the colony decide to migrate to another place , and it is then that Silvers adventure starts.  He has to set priorities and make decisions.  As the story unfolds Silver changes, he becomes stronger and gains self confidence.

What will happen to him?  Will he ever become someone the others can trust?  Will Sandy become his mate?  Will he overcome his fear for the Hawk?

SILVER SQUIRREL  is a fantasy adventure that has got all the elements of a great movie:  action, suspense, morale and colorful scenes.  Hope and friendship . love and compassion can be found throughout the plot.  It is a unique story in its kind . The author has studied the forest animals and has displayed their action and emotions in an original , yet truthful, way.  The readers can identify with the hero , feel his plight and share his beliefs.

This book is  a captivating novel that will transfer the readers to a fantasy world through the poetic use of adjectives and the detailed description of the forest and the animals.  The characters , though animals, they own human emotions and beliefs and strive to solve their survival problems in the woods.  Written in a sensitive , emotional way, this story carries the readers imagination further, to human colonies and lifestyle.  It could be read by children and adults at the same time, so the readership for this novel is not limited to a certain age group.  Also it could be a great movie as is has got a lot of action and suspense.  The author has beautiful pictures to add to the story , and the readers can view them at his site at http://www.squirreldome.com ,

and at http://www.squirreldome.com/silver.htm

This novel is a book for the whole family, so why not get it today?  Its worth reading it!  http://www.1stbooks.com

Reviewed by Liana Metal
Silver Squirrel in Uneasy Pieces review

When we last left Silver Squirrel, the eponymous odd-duck hero of Dan Ritchie’s debut novel, he and his intended mate, Sandy Brown, had just escaped the enigmatic predator known as The Hawk. Silver is indeed in "uneasy pieces"; you could almost imagine a furred Jack Nicholson from the film alluded to. There’s a delightful play on words in the title, because Silver, although proud of his Spock-like outsider status, yearns for peace to be together with Sandy and for peace between the squirrels and their mortal enemy, the crows, whom Silver has befriended in an endeavor more controversial than the Iraq war. Silver narrowly averts a war, but I predict there may be an all-out conflict in the next book.
Silver is one of those Doctor Zhivago/Thomas More idealists who pursues an ideal to the detriment of his own safety and community. Multi-generational-arbor project leader (and Sandy’s stepfather) Timothy Brushtail says, "You’re great with the birds, but you don’t show love for your own kind." Despite this, I couldn’t help liking Silver for his Don Quixote derring-do and his devotion to his mate, Sandy. In my review of the first installment, I referred to Sandy’s mother Beverly as Hillary, but Sandy takes her rightful place as a strong female lead, while a sex segregationist squirrel leader called the Grandmother both complicates and aids Silver’s courtship.

If 2006 was the year of the woman, Dan Ritchie, refreshingly, continues to give women, such as Beverly, the Grandmother, Sandy, a Kristin Davis-like squirrel named Tanny May and the likeable crow Morning from the first book, a powerful role. While the first book was all about the battle of the sexes, the second book moves beyond the conflict (despite differences in mating and Sandy’s failed attempt to be "one of the guys") into a deeper understanding and appreciation of the male-female dynamic. One of the squirrels, moving into the role vacated by the Don Bluth-esque Jacob in the previous book, speaks, as does Silver, about grace and love and redemption.

It’s a timeless message that, perhaps, may allow Silver to find his peace.
A special book for a special reader

A lightning storm sets fire to the woods where the squirrel colony lives. All their homes are burned. Sandy, Timothy, Bart, and all their families must make the dangerous trek back to their original homes. Silver Squirrel, orphaned when he was small, has always been a bit of an outsider. Is there any point to returning, when he'd just as soon live alone? The trip itself is only the beginning in a tale of growing up and experiencing life, one small step at a time.

Adult readers might consider Silver Squirrel an allegory for problems of self-discovery. Children will never notice it. The story moves with a slow grace, as Silver and Sandy experience loss, friendship, grief, fear, and pride of accomplishment. Crackle the Crow ("They call me Crackle because that's my name") adds a light-hearted touch. Nuggets of faith are sprinkled throughout, but are never burdensome.

This is a beautiful book, but it is also a special book for a special reader. It reminded me a great deal of the old Thornton Burgess books (Reddy the Fox etc.) with a touch of Mr. Rogers. Youngsters who are devotees of fast-paced games, and quick-plotted TV shows will probably not appreciate it. However, a ten year-old who likes wildlife and enjoys mulling over ideas will quite likely enjoy it as much as I did.

Jeanette Cottrell, author of At Risk of Being a Fool
I was very happy to review this second book of the Silver Squirrel series since I had enjoyed the first book so much. "Silver Squirrel in Uneasy Pieces" picks up where the first book of the series left off following Silver Squirrel's coming of age and adventures with his best friend and soon-to-be mate, Sandy. Like the first book, "Silver Squirrel", the second book not only incorporates a wonderful story that readers of all ages will enjoy, but it teaches us lessons about life and relationships that will appeal to young and older readers alike.

The book opens with Silver and Sandy taking a much needed rest from their trials and tribulations and with Silver questioning his feeling of weakness and sadness that seemed to cast a shadow across his relief and joy at having Sandy by his side. The duo had been through a lot together at this point. Battles with the hawk and an uneasy but decidedly unique friendship with the crows as well as losing loved ones and their home had taken its toll. Sandy's unique understanding of Silver's feelings and her ability to love him despite his faults and moods permeates the story. Silver of course, is always grateful for Sandy's companionship and caring and loves her deeply as well. As the book progresses, you will follow the duo through further adventures that involve new friends, new trials and new beginnings as well as a coming of age and the worries, fears and excitement that goes with the transition.

Silver and Sandy struggle to find their place in society and the boundaries that define their relationship to each other. Just as in all of our lives, they strive to arrive at that spot in their relationship and connection where each has their place individually as well as a couple. Along the way, dubious and wonderful new relationships are formed and old ones rekindled.

I feel that this book really depicts that difficult time of growing from young adult to maturity in all aspects. Silver and Sandy sometimes handle their maturing with ease and fun and at other times stumble forward, each trying to understand their jumbled feelings and just how they will function as a couple. Silver also finds himself in great peril having to call upon all of the strengths that he knew he possessed and some that he didn't realize were there. The community watches and reacts with admiration at times and with disgust at others, but above all, Silver matures and shows that he is moving down a distinct path toward holding an important place in the society.

As always, Dan has given us a story that keeps us turning the pages to see what happens next while holding true to the underlying theme of faith, love, truth and forgiveness that is a trademark of his books. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages and you really should get both books in the series for your family. I look forward to the next set of adventures of Silver Squirrel and Sandy.

You can read about the books and purchase them here.

Kathy Berry,
At Critical Mass website
www.pixelssochic.com
Silver Squirrel and the Court of Animals”

I was very happy to review this third book of the Silver Squirrel series since I have loved the entire series. I was a reviewer of the second book in the series titled “Silver Squirrel in Uneasy Pieces”. These wonderful books follow an engaging little squirrel through his coming of age and adventures with his best friend and future wife, Sandy.

“The “Silver Squirrel” series is somewhat unique in that Dan  weaves the storyline that propels you through the books in such a way that firmly plants you into Silver’s life and he becomes a part of your family, You couldn’t anymore leave he and Sandy without jumping into their next adventure than walk away from your favorite movie right in the middle.

Dan’s wonderfully descriptive writing style causes you to follow the pair through their delightful and sometimes terrifying adventures as you crunch through the golden fall leaves behind them, trying not to alert them to your nosey presence.

And now we come down to the story in this book. This one opens with the family gathered together for one of the more important times in life. The kits (baby squirrels) have matured to the age where it is time to leave home and make lives for themselves. Everyone including friends who come by are trying to put an air of celebration on the occasion, but underneath is a sadness that comes with leaving one stage of life and entering another. After a few games (Silver and his son were inveterate game players with fierce competition, it was time to go. The kits left on their life’s journey amid hugs between all and a few tears.

Later that night in bed, Sandy asked Silver, “What are we to do now?” Silver replied “You know that someone dropped a mistletoe on my head from above today. It was a warning, if we stay, next time with something else, it could kill me. Sandy drew in a sigh and replied, “Yes, I know, and because of that, we must go in haste, just like the kits.” “Yes!” said Silver and they jumped out of bed running around frantic to decide what to take and how much since they were on foot. Sandy wrote a note to her mother and so as not to worry her, told her they were going on vacation and would be back and to please take care of her siblings. Silver packed a knapsack and swung the pole over his shoulder. “So where should we go?” Silver moaned. One of their “friends” stuck his head in the door and said” I know a place where you will be safe, I have been there a lot. If you will let me come with you, I will lead the way.” Silver frowned but the ever-practical Sandy said “Let’s go. Forward march!” Silver smiled at his wife’s ever-present humor and ability to take anything and turn it into an adventure.

I won’t take you on from here, but it is a wonderfully exciting journey with new adventures unfolding along the way. I think that most of all I enjoyed Dan’s bringing together the human and the animal perspectives. It’s unique and fun!

Even more important is the huge appeal to young and old alike. Any reference to anything adult in the book, will go right under the noses of the little guys and gals adults will enjoy them immensely. It also can prove some valuable learning lessons for our youth. I give it a 5 Star (out of 5 with 5 being the highest) rating with my encouragement to not miss a single book in the series!

Kathy Berry,
At Critical Mass website
www.pixelssochic.com
Silver Squirrel and a Sky Full of Rabbits”

Book number 4 opened with this ominous statement...
“Nearing the time of the end, the world was a perilous place, full of violence and hatred.   Love had grown cold. Yet a few brave souls learned to love again.   This is their story...”I felt a small shiver trickle its way down my spine as I settled back in my computer chair and allowed my eyes to move to the first lines of the story. I felt a serious tone settle over my reading tonight.
Prologue
Just like all of the other books, Dan causes you to feel like you are really there in this one. His descriptions and the way he allows the story to pull you in, makes you feel like you are sitting in the damp grass from the morning’s shower watching this story unfold and explode at times around you.
​​Ravens, they came out of nowhere to check out the area and then wreak havoc. They each wore top hats and beak masks with large round eye holes that framed the black eyes with an evil white piercing glint shining out. Everyone knew what the appearance of the black Ravens meant and it wasn’t good. Especially the one who now dropped to the ground nearby. Chills ran through the animals who saw him. It escalated like the whine of death. The warrens were flooding, small rodents ran screaming through the tunnels and Cotter the otter was swept away and he knew not where he would end up as the dark dirty water gushed in while the digging and flooding and screaming off small rodents continued. 
 
The  Opening   
Everyone was talking about the new Flea  Market and all of the work that Sandy had been doing for the Community with book club meetings to study and so much more while taking care of her mother which was never a  small task. Silver worried about her but never questioned her or asked that she stay home and rest. He knew how much all of this meant to her.  So he just stayed home, limped around on his cane which helped him get by with the wounds to his legs from the battle, and worked his own garden.

As the group gathered together  all of their stuff  which was a lesson in what NOT to take on an overland trip and prepared to move on. Silver was in pain from his battle injuries and having a hard time walking. Margaret, the long legged  doe was being put to use as a beast of burden and she was plenty tired of the situation when all of a sudden a new, big, wet, well, they weren't sure what it was until it got closer. It was
obvious that there was something very wrong with it. Upon closer inspection, they realized he was blind and in poor shape. "How did you become blind?" Silver asked. 
What is your name?   Pillow is my name and was given to me because of my size and softness  Can I carry you Silver? I know you are hurting and it's been so long  since I carried someone, I miss it so much. I don't have a  saddle but it won't matter since I am so soft. With help Silver climbed on and off they went. It seems that the gang is learning valuable life's lessons. Such as this one. No matter if someone is handicapped, they have talents and  abilities  that still allow  them to help others if they so choose. Margaret was anxious to go and she missed socializing and dancing so much. Hurry let's get home, yes hurry said Silver to Pillow I miss my Sweet Sandy so much and I sense danger.
When the group arrived at home, they found that Sandy had suffered another dream and she was  shaking and jumped into Silver's arms to console herself. The entire group was upset   when Sandy looked up and discovered Pillow. "You are new, I haven't seen you before. And your eyes, what...wait a  minute, it's in my head again, you were attacked and maimed in the war that is moving our way." "Yes," Pillow said, "they plucked my eyes out one by one but left me and others alive to do heavy work." Sandy immediately said "You will stay with us and help Silver."Pillow was overcome, "I will serve you well."
I really can't tell you anymore about this book. It would be a gross  disservice to you because Dan has woven such a story that gives insight into our own shortcomings  and  then others let us know that it is ok. We love, we cry, we make mistakes and we mend each other's  hearts and minds when we can. It's life and no child or parent will end this book without being touched and a more understanding and  stronger and better person. 

Kathy Berry,
At Critical Mass website
www.pixelssochic.com
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