Pnina lives in a small Jewish town in the 1940s, under the British Mandate. The story of the silver ball begins when Pnina changes her name to Julie and her scary old neighbor, Daylight, refuses to use it. Conflict ensues, and when Pnina finds a beautiful silver ball - made of tin foil - in the orchard, she suspects that Daylight wants her to be accused of stealing. At the same time, Pnina-Julie meets Rivka, a mute pianist who plays Chopin waltzes beautifully. Even though Rivka snubs her, Pnina still hangs around her door, hoping to catch a few notes.
One day, Daylight calls Pnina to his house. Inside, she finds the weakest, palest boy she has ever seen – Yariv, Daylight`s grandson. When Yariv and his grandfather disappear for over a week, she realizes that Yariv has died. At that crucial moment, Rivka hands Pnina a second silver ball. The kindness reaches her through her shock and Pnina begins to sob.
Ruth Almog is a master of the art of describing the dark side of life in a graceful and easygoing way that does not belittle its seriousness....Qualms of conscience and fear are depicted with the same accuracy as childish joy of life. The Silver Ball is unique in its unsentimental portrayal of grief and death... Both adults and children will be reluctant to leave this entrancing world at the end of the book.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
A penetrating portrayal....a dreamy story.
De Leeuwarder Courant (Holland)
English translation available (for publishers only)