A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that best-selling writing/editing syndicate "Erin Hunter" (the Warriors series), is in top form in Broken Pride, the first volume in an animal fantasy series featuring a young lion, a baboon, and an elephant on the African savanna. The descriptions are vivid, the characters appealing (or appalling, in the case of villains), the story exciting, and the stage set for many adventures and relationships in volumes to come. Also the vocabulary is rich, as are the details about the plants and animals who call the Bravelands home. There are plenty of positive lessons about family, friends, teamwork, negotiation, and coexistence. The story may be too upsetting for younger or more sensitive readers: Besides vivid accounts of predators killing and eating prey, it includes several murders, including the treacherous killing of a lion cub's father, as well as mutilation, fights, and other mayhem.
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What's the story?
In the region of the African plains known as the Bravelands, young lion cub Fearless' life is shattered when a treacherous rival kills his father, the pride leader, and Fearless must flee the BROKEN PRIDE for his life. He winds up taken in by a flock of baboons and tries desperately to fit in, but despite his best efforts and his baboon friend Thorn, he's never quite accepted, and he never stops worrying about his mother and sister. Thorn has problems of his own -- he's in love with Berry, and she's in love with him, but they can't be together because they're of different social classes. Meanwhile, orphan elephant Sky discovers she can see how an animal died when she examines its bones -- a skill her grandmother, the ruling Great Mother of the Bravelands animals, puts to good use.
As the multivolume series gets under way, the young animals face many challenges and tests of character as they contend with betrayal, cruelty, and murder from others in their communities.
Is it any good?
Erin Hunter travels to the plains of Africa in her latest animal fantasy series, which follows a young lion, a baboon, and an elephant through adventures sure to thrill current fans and win new ones. Some of the situations and descriptions -- murdered parents, adults trying to kill youngsters, predators stalking and devouring prey -- may be too much for sensitive kids. But there's a lot to love in Broken Pride's young heroes, its colorful world, and its positive messages about family, friendship, and being true to yourself while helping your loved ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the animal adventures in Broken Pride in some ways seem like our own experiences. Do any of the challenges Fearless, Thorn, and Sky face remind you of things happening in your life or that of your friends?
Have you read other Erin Hunter books? How do you think Broken Pride compares?
Does this story make you want to travel to Africa and check out the region where the characters live? What have you learned about Africa so far?
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