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Silent Lee Background Image
Silent Lee and the Adventure of the Side Door Key Book Cover

The magical birdcage was in the attic, and when fifteen-year-old Silent discovers its secret and receives a message from her (allegedly deceased) aunt, this story is off to a rollicking start that is sure to capture the enthusiasm of readers ages 10 to 100.


Plot Hint: There seem to be two Newbury Streets, one at least a hundred years in the past and brimming with alchemy and magic.

Silent Lee and the Oxford Adventure Book Cover
Alex Hiam, Author
Illustration by Alex Hiam


Alex Hiam's first Silent Lee book won a Benjamin Franklin Award for its fun adventures involving a teen sorcerer, and Midwest Book Review called it "original and delightfully entertaining." Teachers and homeschoolers find Silent Lee a fun, non-controversial novel suited for classroom or home reading in mid-elementary through middle school. Readers learn vocabulary, style, and literary devices without realizing it's an education, not just a gripping whodunnit.

Alex grew up visiting his great-grandmother, whose Boston mansion with its secret passages and hidden doors inspired the Girls' Academy of Latin and Alchemy in Silent Lee books.

At Harvard, he won the English Department's Arnold Prize and studied magic in the musty stacks of the anthropology library before embarking on his career as a writer, teacher, and illustrator.


He now lives in the small village of Putney, Vermont, where his teen children review his writing to make sure it meets their exacting standards of excitement and magical fun.

Alex has taught at U Mass Amherst, North Star Center for home-schooled teens, The Grammar School in Putney, Vermont, and The Compass School in Westminster, Vermont.

Kirkus Reviews called Silent Lee "A pleasant tale for readers who want a female-centric Harry Potter story" and San Francisco Book Review called it "extraordinary, ... readers are held in lasting suspense."

Should you or your organization be in need of an author's hand, this distinguished, award-winning author and scholar is available for hire, click here for Alex's resume.


Silent Lee and the

Side Door Key

Silent Lee and the

Oxford Adventure

The Book & Cat

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Norah and the

Crow Witch

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#1 Falcon's Escape

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My Books


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"This story will keep teens and all fantasy fans on the edge of their seat as Silent and Raahi dodge lightning bolts and unravel layers of deceit in their quest to save the world and be home in time for tea with Silent's Great Aunt Generous!" Read more.


- Broadway World



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Author Alex Hiam teaches creative writing to teens, which can lead to opportunities to create events in support of the book. Regional bookstores throughout New England may offer workshops with the author. Alex also arranges his own events to publicize the series at libraries, middle and elementary schools both public and private and home-school learning centers.

In the initial, awareness-building stage of the marketing initiative, each non-bookstore event is an opportunity to spread promotional copies of the title/s into bookstore market areas, so as to build buzz about the title among young readers and their teachers, librarians and families.


The blog page featuring writing prompts on our official website supports these fun and instructional events: Creative Writing Prompts for Teen Author workshops.

Author appearances at bookstores may be scheduled by contacting the author directly at

The New Farmers Almanac, Volume V, January 2021
The New Farmers Almanac, Volume V, January 2021
Alex Hiam's pen and ink drawing, Pintail Passing, will be featured in The New Farmers Almanac, Volume V, January 2021. The drawing shows a pintail duck flying past rushes with lilies and native New England butterflies and wildflowers.
Jan 04, 2021, 8:00 PM
The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume V Release
Illustration by Alex Hiam
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