AR level: none yet
Grade appropriate: 4th and up
Overall: 4/5-- A wonderful book that really left me feeling warm and satisfied. It’s so rare that I find one of those these days!
Creativity: 5/5-- A story about the magic of stories and books, set in a town that feels held back by nonsense of children’s stories. They are trying to rid themselves of nonsense and are going to burn all the story books. (very Nazi-esque) Sophie is the last Storyguard and must save the stories. She encounters Peter Nimble who is the main character of Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes. I didn’t read that one but I will definitely be going back to read it now.
Characters: 5/5-- Sophie, who is delightful, and Peter, who I adore. Also wonderful Sir Tode and Akraisa. I could live in this book with these characters.
Engrossing: 4/5-- I’m knocking this book here only because I learned from reading The Night Gardener that Jonathan Auxier is not a lighthearted writer. You can’t read his books in little spits and spurts. They aren’t any good that way. You have to be able to take them in in great swaths. Knowing that going in, I loved Sophie and tried to find times I could just sit and take this story in. That’s the only way to read a Jonathan Auxier book. (It’s also why it took me so long to read it. Great long swaths of time are rare to this full-time working mom of 3.)
Writing: 5/5-- clever & witty.
Appeal to kids: 4/5-- This will appeal to heavy fantasy readers, but those who are very casual readers won’t be able to cut it.
Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5-- It’s a long one, but when it’s over you are so satisfied. Couldn’t be a page shorter.
Language: none, mild, medium, high-- damnable (1)
Violence: mild-- there are many bad guys & Peter is not a hero to back down from a fight. This leads to several fantastical battles. Bad guys die but it is all very fictional. Not disturbing.