It's been awhile since I blogged a book!
My son read this book a while back and really liked it. I vaguely remember him explaining the plot to me, but only vaguely. He checked it out to re-read from his middle school library, and I borrowed it when he finished. Because of that, I can tell you that it is labelled as AR level 5.6 and 18 points. So if your kids need to keep track of that kind of thing. I would guess it would be interesting for 4-7th graders. I hope to convince my 4th grader to read it. It is 485 pages, so it took a chunk of time to get through.
All that being said, I liked this book. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Quirky,brainy kid characters. I love them, don't you?
2. A story with enough twists and turns that it wasn't all together predictable. Including one moment when I genuinely felt exactly like the characters.
3. Good, if not unoriginal, messages about believing in yourself, working together, resisting the dark side.
4. A happy ending. Did I give it away?
A few good quotes to give you a feel for it:
"Although most people care about the truth, they can nonetheless--under certain circumstances, and given proper persuasion--be diverted from it. Some, however, possess an unusually powerful love of truth, and you children are among the few."
"What if he created a fear, a fear everyone would hold in common, a fear the entire public would share?.....Then his next step would be to soothe that fear with just the right message."
(He, of course, being the bad guy.)
"He'd never expected doing the right thing to be so hard. But it was."
And of course being religious, I loved the parallels. Toward the end, at the moment when Reynie just doesn't think he can resist the evil, he thinks of Mr. Benedict. He doesn't think he can go on, so he sends a message, and knows if it is heard and returned he can do it. And he does. The whole moment is so great.
I enjoyed the characters, the story and the writing style. I'd love to hear what you think!