Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Burning Sky

The Burning Sky
by Sherry Thomas
From the publisher:
"It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure."

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this book. Some parts felt very slow, but then there were also very exciting parts. I didn't feel like I had any kind of a relationship with the characters for quite some time, but I ended up really liking them. So, while I didn't get sucked into this, or couldn't put it down, I did quite like it. And I think I will actually read the next book in the series before I forget what happened. 

Will middle school students like it? Two of my biggest readers had very differing views on it. A 7th grader is quite obsessed by them, but a 6th grader returned it unfinished because she couldn't get into it. I think if they stick with it they will really like it. There are some really cool plot devices, like a book that the characters can actually go into and learn how to use and control their magic by being thrust into fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty. There is the She's the Man vibe that is very fun - having a girl dressing as a boy and attending a boy's school. There are cool magical creatures and awesome, powerful magic that is used. There is a handsome prince, a powerful girl who doesn't even know her power, and an evil villain. There is a love/hate/love relationship that is a sweet romance. All these things add up to greatness, so why didn't I want to hug this book when I finished? I'm really not that sure. But read it for yourself, because it may add up to greatness for you.

Areas of concern:
The main character uses a word that I'm assuming is a cuss word for her world, but isn't one for us.
There are some "wand" jokes and innuendos.
Since the main character is dressed up as a boy and has a very close relationship with the handsome prince, some bullies at the school refer to her as "Bumboy". 
Some mild kissing.

Suggested Ages:
Booklist - Grades 8-11
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 9+

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