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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Evil Librarian is the YA debut from veteran children's author Michelle Knudsen. There's a lot of strong language, including frequent use of "f--k." The librarian in question is a demon in disguise, and there are a couple of disturbing images involving blood and demons. Blood's also mentioned a few more times from injuries. Sexual content is mild, with only a couple of kisses and a lot of crush-type fantasies.
What's the story?
Cyn's best friend Annie falls hard for the new, cute, young librarian. But Cyn can't shake the feeling that something's very wrong about him in spite of his charms. Cyn's worst fears are soon confirmed, and she learns that he's a demon who's come into our world to gain power by feeding on human souls. As Annie falls deeper and deeper under the demon's spell, more and more demons arrive through his portal and start to take over the school. Everyone's doomed to die in the demons' struggle for power -- that is, unless Cyn can make a deal.
Is it any good?
EVIL LIBRARIAN reads like a weaker installment of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The heroine is less bold; the humor is less edgy; the supporting cast is not quirky, compelling, or adorable; there's no camp; and it's all demons, no vampires.
But teens who've never seen Buffy won't know what they're missing and will enjoy the thrills, chills, and occasional laughs while rooting for Cyn to save the world from a demon invasion. She's a strong, relatable heroine with an authentic voice, and the growing sense of dread keeps the pages turning. There's a spectacular battle for the demon throne in a cleverly and vividly realized underworld, and the end resolves everything satisfactorily while leaving the door open for sequels. It's a fun, light read for teens who enjoy light horror.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why fantasies are so popular. Why do we enjoy them so much?
Has a friend ever fallen for the wrong person? Why did you think the person wasn't right for your friend? What did you do?
Do you think Cyn is right: that it's better to take some kind of action -- even if it will have negative consequences -- than to sit back and do nothing at all?
- Author: Michelle Knudsen
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Candlewick Press
- Publication date: September 9, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.