Parent reviews for Cirque Du Freak: The Saga of Darren Shan Series

Cirque Du Freak: The Saga of Darren Shan Series Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 11+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 80 reviews

age 10+

Unfair Reviews for the Series; Give Them A Chance

Please read this whole review. It's a bit long but it's thorough and gives a fair representation of the book series. The first time I read these books was when I was 12. My English class read the first book and I loved it so much I went and read the other 11. I remember I used to beg my mom to take me to the bookstore to buy the next book every time I finished one. I'm now 18, and these books remain one of my all-time favorite series. While the books do contain gore and violence, it is no worse than your average horror movie, and there are no pictures of violence in the books. There are multiple people on this website saying that these books have drinking, drugs, and smoking, but really they don't. Please don't unfairly rate books just because you personally don't want your kids reading them. That's your personal choice, however other people need to have accurate information in order to make their own decisions. For me, I would definitely let my child read these books, and I have multiple reasons why. First, if a child wants to read, we much encourage that and not tell them no. I was always the reader out of my siblings; getting my siblings to read was always a nightmare. The later in life we get without doing something, the less inclined we will be to start. Second, the books have a value to them that isn't just part of reading literature. The series has powerful role models, and characters that always stay true to themselves, and in a world as diverse and growing as we have today, this is important. The main character, Darren, faces a conflict and feels bad for the outcome, but still remains family-oriented and never forgot where he came from and who his friends were. As an absolute advocate for these books, I want as many kids to read them as possible. I think if you don't read these books, you're really missing out. Despite the fact that they're aimed at children and teens, I think even a young-minded adult might enjoy them. I'm still working on getting my 13-year-old sister to read them, but she has never been one to read much. My brother, who's 15 this summer, absolutely loves them and I often find him on the floor in my room re-reading them. Don't get me wrong, I like my privacy, but I love to see him read, especially something I loved to read myself. We often talk about what happened as if we read them yesterday. It makes me want to finish my own book series even sooner so we can talk about them, too. So, these books also helped my develop a really strong relationship with my little brother. The last thing I have to say about these books is give them a chance! They might not be your kind of book, but everyone has different likes and dislikes. I honestly am not one for horror movies or books and when my teacher first said we would be reading a bit of a horror book in class I was not looking forward to it. And yet, after being thoroughly surprised, I cannot stop talking about them and recommending them to my friends even today. Also: they aren't that gory! Shan does a great job at keeping the suspense without making the books overly-violent. However, some characters do die, and I did cry after becoming so attached to them! But if you look at it this way, doesn't the ability of an author to provoke emotion in his readers make him a good author? Just some food for thought. :)

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 10+

This got my teen that hated reading started reading for pleasure

Literally - the kid read what his teachers made him read. Then, when there were only four books in the Cirque Du Freak series and one Demonata book out the librarian introduced him to them. He's read all the Darren Shan books and now, as an adult, reads other books for pleasure as well. Will always love them for that reason!
age 12+

Do Not Underestimate This Series

I read this series when I was about 11 and grew up with it for a good 3 years. I agree with many of the other adults saying it does get more explicit in violence as the books go on, though I'd say similar to how the Harry Potter series ages with it's readers. When it comes to topics of sex, language, or drugs/alcohol you don't have to worry much as those aren't brought up much as they don't hold any importance to the series. Having read the entire series the books do take on some mature and even philosophical topics of conversation that were enlightening and surprising to me when I was a younger reader. Overall this is a fantastic book series that even today I reread often. The only reason I give it a higher age rating is due to the common themes of violence. Aside from that it is a fun action packed fantasy for most younger teens to enjoy (and there is a lot to enjoy with a whopping 12 books).

This title has:

Great messages
age 13+

disturbing for young children

Please take the time to look at the images printed in these books and read some of the content before buying. If you wouldn't let your child watch a horror movie then don't let them read these books. This book is full of horrific images which are very disturbing and physically sickening . I am an avid reader and I fully encourage my children to read but I would never let them read one of these

This title has:

Too much violence
age 11+

Very suspenseful series

This series has a great plot to it. I've read all of them I love them! It doesn't get gory until the end of each installment.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 10+

Excellent read for those who are old enough

These books are excellent! It does have some language, blood, and gore but the books clearly state they are placed in the horror genre. Horror has this sort of thing. I think Darren Shan is a great author and I highly recommend it to any Vampire fan.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 6+

The perfect book for adults, teens and young prodigies/vampire fans

Many of the other reviews on here aren't really expressing what this book has to offer. Sure it has some violence, but I started reading this series (or rather having it read to me) when I was five years old. I enjoyed every word of it and every time I got a new book I would stay up late reading it cover-to-cover. Not to mention, I was a sensitive kid back then, a very nice, sensitive and rather intelligent little one. For little kids like me who are above their age in reading it is terrific. I am a picky reader but this series had me hooked from the beginning. You have to overlook the violence and occasional mention of alchohol (oh come on, those kids are seeing worse on TV). This book isn't all about gore. The main character, Darren, is a good character who truly loved his family and friends and he was a very good boy, and a loving big brother. But as he is separated from them, he even begins to form strong bonds with his companions despite their differences. He tries to do the right thing and he is a good character and he is so brave and strong despite his youth and all the things that happen around him. He has on several occasions proved that he is willing to sacrifice his own life to save his friends. This book also deals with his coping of death where in some situations he could be at death's door at any given moment and in another situation far into the series he copes with the very sad death of one of his good friends. If you think your child isn't ready for it, then don't let them read it! Save until they are old enough to understand the book. It is a Young Adult Fiction book for a reason. I was able to understand it at five and I was an avid fan of vampires back then (I wanted to be one). And like I said, I was the sweetest kid you could ever meet and very intelligent despite my young age. I just happened to want to be a vampire instead of a superhero. But no two kids are exactly alike. Parents and teachers, read it for yourselves. Overlook the drinking and "swearing" and violence. If you look in there without letting yourself fall victim to immediate disgust without reading the whole book and the others in its series (they get better and better after the first) you will never see the true characterization and meaning behind the book, you will never see the mind-blowing amount of wit the book contains and you will never get to know the characters and trust me, there is some real character development in there. If you don't even bother to read it, you are missing out on an amazing book. If a five-year-old could pick the book up and understand each word and discover the true meanings of the book in a heartbeat after reading each new book, then why can't you?

This title has:

Great messages
age 9+

the movie vampire's assistant.

poisitive messages about being proud of your heritage and who you are and being defined by the content of you character. "It's not what you are, it's who you are" Main character has an edward cullen-attitude towards humans.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 11+

Good book for horror fans

Although content may be a little too violent or gruesome, it will suck in readers with its imaginative voice. Perhaps between ages 9-12, fans of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps will love this book.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 8+

perfect for 8 - 16 who love action and good for older kids

Love it, action packed and overall amazing!!!

This title has:

Great role models