A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book is much more violent than its predecessor. The violence can be gruesome, including a scene with dozens of charred bodies after an attack. Young children, orphaned or taken from their families, are put into extraordinary peril by the Society that supposedly is caring for them.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
CROSSED, the second book in the dystopian MATCHED trilogy, finds Cassia in a work camp, far from home, searching for her love, Ky, who is fighting to survive amid the violence in the Outer Provinces and plotting to escape in search of Cassia. Their paths eventually lead them first to parallel canyons and finally to each other, with traveling companions in tow. Amid a backdrop of violence and death, they piece together information about the Rising, the rumored rebellion against the Society. Cassia is eager to find the Rising, but it’s the one place Ky feels he can’t go. All the while, the absent Xander -- Cassia’s Society-chosen betrothed -- is revealed to have a surprising secret of his own.
Is it any good?
Told from the alternating viewpoints of Ky and Cassia, this is the journey stage of the saga, and while the getting-there can be plodding, there’s much to discover on the way. The tone is very different from the first book, set in the polished, controlled Borough. The action -- and there’s a lot of it -- is now in the wild Outer Provinces, where the Society uses its undesirables as cannon fodder. Away from Society oversight, the love story that blossomed in Matched grows thorny: Cassia and Ky had united against the Society’s plans for them, but now they grapple with conflicting desires.
Ally Condie continues to write with a poetic voice, returning often to the poems that preface the novel. Yet after all the drama of the journey, the hurried conclusion is emotionally flat. Crossed is unlikely to seduce new readers, but fans will be fascinated by the farmers and their caves stuffed with treasured books, clues to the Society’s sinister workings, and Xander’s tantalizing secret.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the poems used in the book. What do you think Tennyson was writing about in "Crossing the Bar"? Do you think the Rising views it in the same way, or has it offered a completely new interpretation?
The farmers salvage a treasure trove of print materials, from classic works to piles of pamphlets. What works of art would you want to save?
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