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!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Six of Crows

Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo
From the publisher:
"Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first."

Whew, this one is quite the roller coaster ride! My breathlessness may have been accentuated by the abrupt ending. I read it on my Kindle, and I was only at 87% and something VERY BIG had just happened, I scrolled to the next page and it said, "Acknowledgments". What?! There was a big excerpt from Shadow and Bone after the acknowledgments - thus the 87% ending. If you read the large hard copy of this book, the ending won't be quite as much of a shock as it was for me. 
I loved these characters! They had all been through SO much at such a young age. I liked hearing their stories from their own point of view, you could feel their pain and anger and so many other emotions. The plot was ridiculously intricate and intriguing, and the action intense. This book can be read without reading the author's other Grisha series, but I think I would have understood some things better if I had re-read Shadow and Bone (I read it years ago) and the rest of the series (which I never read). However, I still loved it and took what I read at face value instead of having back stories for things. 
One of my 8th graders told me last year that this had become her favorite book. I hesitated ordering it for our middle school library because some of the reviewers were recommending it for 9th grade and up. There are definitely areas of concern, but it is really good and I think our 8th graders will love it.

Areas of concern:
*A lot of fighting and violence, but nothing terribly graphic (although there is talk of main characters slitting throats and breaking necks).
*A main character is captured by slavers at a young age and sold into prostitution. She manages to escape the brothel after a few years, but is naturally very traumatized by that experience. Nothing graphic is described.
*There are only about 6 or 9 instances of bad language, but one of those is the "f" word. 
*Intense situations abound.
*A drug that is being given to a certain group of people is one of the main story lines.

Suggested Ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 7+

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