A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A World Without Princes picks up the story begun in The School for Good and Evil. It offers a fresh take on fairy tale devices and cliches, upending the expectations most readers have about princesses and villains. The language is very mild, with nothing worse than "hell" used. Would-be princesses and princes flirt with each other, and there are some kisses. As in most fairy tales, violence and the threat of it are fairly constant, but most characters escape actual harm.
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What's the story?
A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES finds best friends Sophie and Agatha back at home, seemingly with all their problems from the first volume of The School for Good and Evil solved. But when Agatha inadvertently wishes for a happy ending with Tedros, her handsome prince, she and Sophie find themselves whisked back to the School -- only everything about it seems to have been changed. Now the boys and the girls are separated into two institutions, without regard to who's evil and who's not. As a war between the sexes brews, Agatha and Sophie must decide whether their friendship is worth saving ahead of true love.
Is it any good?
A World Without Princes has its moments of fun and excitement, though the narrative often feels rushed and repetitive. This second book finds a new wrinkle on the premise presented in the trilogy's first volume: By switching up everything up so that the main conflict is now between the Boys and the Girls, author Soman Chainani finds more opportunities for epic confrontations, underhanded scheming, and some satirical observations about the nature of fairy tales.
Unfortunately, the plot sometimes seems as if it's merely marking time until the climactic battle. Complications arise in every chapter, but they can be only minor variations on a theme. And Chainani's prose is much sloppier this time around. He never misses an opportunity to use a synonym when "said" will suffice, and he frequently makes odd verb choices.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why fairy tales are so popular in so many different media: literature, film, TV, theater, comics, etc.
Are there fundamental differences between boys and girls? Is it better to keep them apart or together in school?
Could you make a choice between your best friend and your "true love"?
- Author: Soman Chainani
- Genre: Fairy Tale
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: April 15, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 448
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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