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The School for Good and Evil (School for Good and Evil, 1) Paperback – Illustrated, September 4, 2018
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“Rich and strange.” -- Kirkus Reviews
“A fairy tale like no other, complete with romance, magic, humor, and a riddle that will keep you turning pages until the end.” -- Ann M. Martin, author of the bestselling Babysitter’s Club series
“Chainani has imagined the world where fairy tales come to life, where for every fairy princess with a ‘Happily Ever After’ in her future there is a villain with a tragic fate in store. But in The School for Good and Evil it’s not always certain which is which.” -- David Magee, screenwriter of Life of Pi and Finding Neverland
“In Chainani’s richly imagined world the action never lets up for a nano-second. Young readers won’t be able to stop turning the pages till they reach the surprising and satisfying conclusion.” -- Tor Seidler, author of Mean Margaret, a National Book Award Finalist
“Chainani takes the racing energy of Roald Dahl’s language and combines it with the existential intensity of J.K. Rowling’s plots to create his own universe. THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL uses the sorcery of words and the poetry of friendship to startle, enchant, and keep us turning pages.” -- Maria Tatar, Chair of Folklore and Mythology Program, Harvard University and Editor of The Classic Fairy Tales
“Wow. From the very first sentence, you know you’re entering a thrilling world of strange fantasy... A wild and dangerous fairy tale ride. I loved this book.” -- R. L. Stine, author of the bestselling Goosebumps series
“[A] whip-smart debut...If I could bewitch you all to read it, I would. Grade: A.” -- Entertainment Weekly
From the Back Cover
This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good and Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy-tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.
But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—and they'll quickly find that the only way out of a fairy tale . . . is to live through it.
- ASIN : 006210490X
- Publisher : HarperCollins; Reprint edition (September 4, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 544 pages
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : 830L
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.12 x 1.09 x 7.62 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #61,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This is a story of good and evil, but really, what is evil? Is it just the same as good, but with excuses? Other than the main characters, the others are poorly developed. The male characters sound like they were written by an angry militant feminist: the men are weak, unreliable, dishonorable, fickle and altogether not what men should strive to be, both the "good" and the "evil" male characters. The women are generally shallow and mean, again from both schools, but they are strong. I have no problem with strong female characters--all women in real life should be strong and self reliant, but I emphatically disagree that denigrating men makes women strong if only by comparison. And spoiler alert: two 14 year old girls kissing each other on the mouth at the end and saying "I love you"???
So what did I learn from this book? The author is a committed social justice warrior who thinks men are a waste of space and that good and evil are pretty much the same. Mostly I'm pleased that I bought only one book. On the plus side, the cover art is quite nice.
This is book one in a series. I liked the dichotomy of the plot. It certainly had a lot of action. I'm not certain that this is truly a book for children. The moral ambivalence may be too much for them. Although the first book was entertaining, I'm not going to pursue the series.
The lead characters are almost unfairly written. Sophie’s is almost cartoonish; she is vain and selfish “who wants snow white when they can have me” but does have a few redeeming qualities including creativity (I loved how she blinged the donkey out of her ‘F’s). Agatha’s character is the much more interesting of the pair. “She had always found villains more exciting than heroes. They had ambition, passion. They made the stories happen. Villains didn't fear death. No, they wrapped themselves in death like suits of armor! As she inhaled the school's graveyard smell, Agatha felt her blood rush. For like all villains, death didn't scare her. It made her feel alive.” Agatha is intelligent and self-aware. She quickly rising to the top of her classes and readily sees the folly of her fellow princesses-in-training “Agatha wondered what these girls' souls would wish for. Depth, perhaps.“ Agatha’s biggest weakness seems to be her frustrating dedication to Sophie.
In summary, there is enough here to make this a worthwhile read. As Tedros (the rather bland love interest) wisely stated “the best villains make you doubt.” I will read the sequels when they show up in a deal of the day or once the inevitable movie(s) is released.
To be honest this feels more like a book a twenty something would believe a middle schooler would like than something a middle schooler would actually get into on their own.
Top reviews from other countries
FOR THE NEXT COMMENT ABOUT THIS BOOK SAYING YOU LOVE IT ASWELL! 5*****stars!!!!:
I'm only giving it four stars because there were a few depressing bits that I didn't like, and one slightly unsettling description of a corpse, but all in all it was very good.
Aged eleven :)