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AR level: 4.9
Grade appropriate: 5th and up
Overall: 5/5--I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I will say it’s for a more mature reader. There’s a bit of language (see my note) and in the beginning the children are taken from their loving parents for their safety. Being an expecting mother (and pretty emotional right now) that was a hard part for me to get through. But once I got past that part I was sucked in!
Creativity: 5/5--Nothing like any other fantasy book I’ve read before.
Characters: 5/5-- Loved the characters. They seemed very real, likable and believable.
Appeal to kids: 4/5-- Kids who are fantasy fans already will eat it up. Not for kids who are new to fantasy.
Appropriate length to tell the story 4/5-- Longer than I expected.
Language: mild--several instances, “damn” “hell” “bloody”
Violence: mild-- heros fight the evil characters
Drugs/Alcohol: mild-- the main villain drinks wine and brandy (maybe vodka at one point?) but it is not discussed at length.
This book is not on our mock Newbery list because it was on last year's list. And it won an honor!! We were thrilled that a book from our short list got an award.
(Actually 3 of the 4 honors were on our list, not that I'm bragging or anything!)
I just never got a chance to read it last year when we were frantically reading the list books and I just now got my hands on an audio version.
AR level: 4.8
Grade appropriate: 5th grade and up
Overall: 4/5-- I truly enjoyed this book and really wasn’t expecting to. I’m not all that into Historical fiction at this point (loved it as a kid) but I knew this was an honor from last year and wanted to be able to say I read it. I’m so glad I did! It was a good one.
Characters: 5/5-- Realistic and likeable.
Engrossing: 4/5-- At the beginning several books came across my desk that I wanted to read and I kept thinking about quitting this one before I really got started. But I’m glad I stuck it out. Once I was into it I kept wanting to come back to it.
Appeal to kids: 3/5-- It’s not an easy one to convince kids to pick up. Historical fiction is not the most popular of genres in our library and this book is a bit harder to sell than some others.
Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
Sexuality: mild--The main character’s sister kisses a boy and the character observes it. She also sees a boy in his “union suit” (long underwear) and admires him, nothing graphic or inappropriate mentioned.
Violence: mild-- The main character hunts and at one point has to decide whether or not to kill 2 men who are hurting her friend.