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!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Hero's Guide to Saving the Kingdom

The Hero's Guide to 
Saving the Kingdom
by Christopher Healy
From the publisher:
"Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change.

Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, the princes stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it’s up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

Christopher Healy’s Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a completely original take on the world of fairy tales, the truth about what happens after “happily ever after.” It’s a must-have for middle grade readers who enjoy their fantasy adventures mixed with the humor of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Witty black-and-white drawings by Todd Harris add to the fun."

Well, this is a case of finishing a book right before you leave on vacation and not getting it reviewed until way later. I'll just have to mention my thoughts and feelings on this one since I don't remember the specifics enough. 

This book was recommended to me by my favorite rising 6th grader. She said it is her new favorite series, so I read it and immediately ordered it for our library. It is really funny in kind of a ridiculous way, so I feel like it is the perfect fit for a middle school reader. It was fun to read about things from the heroes point of view instead of the princesses. And these are not your ordinary heroes! Each one is unique and very cleverly drawn. 
To remind myself about the book, I looked up some quotes on Goodreads. Here are some of my favorites:

“Frederic had imagined this moment - him running to Ella with open arms, calling her name - but being as winded as he was, doubled over with his hands on his knees, all he could do was nod in her general direction.” 

“Once you've been squashed by a giant, a troll doesn't even seem nearly as heavy.” 

“Get him now?" Duncan asked. He looked at the sword in his hand. Unsure of what he should do, he tossed the weapon at the giant. The sword flipped through the air a couple of times and landed softly on the grass only a few feet away.
"That was the most pathetic thing I've ever seen," said Gustav.
Duncan stepped forward to retrieve his sword, tripped over his belt, hit his head on a rock, and knocked himself out cold.
"I spoke too soon," said Gustav. "That was the most pathetic thing I've ever seen.” 

This book is extremely humorous, and is at times irreverent, wacky, ridiculous and quirky. A romp through fairy tales that pokes fun at some of our favorites and helps us see them in a different way. It would make a great movie, but for now use it as a family or class read-aloud, or for a grin and giggle for yourself.

Areas of concern:
Some fairy tale violence and an evil witch who is really very funny. So pretty much no areas of concern on this one.

Suggested ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 8-12
School Library Journal - Grades 4-6

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