A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Felix Yz stresses the importance of acceptance, compassion, and empathy. It also captures the excitement of championship-level chess.
Every person deserves respect and understanding. Everyone has weaknesses, but they often also have hidden strengths. People can face the possibility of death with courage and acceptance.
Positive Role Models
Because he's been fused with a hyper-intelligent entity from the fourth dimension, Felix sometimes can't control his body or speech. He learns to stand up for himself and trust others, even as he faces a potentially lethal medical procedure.
Violence & Scariness
Felix is harassed by a bully, but the abuse is mostly verbal, with one or two minor instances of physical contact (pushing, having books knocked out of his hands, etc.).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Felix has a crush on Hector, and the two of them hold hands and share a fleeting kiss. Felix's mother seems to be romantically interested in Ursula, the chess instructor.
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A half-dozen instances of "hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lisa Bunker's Felix Yz is a science fiction novel about a 13-year-old boy with an alien melded inside his body. Structured as a series of blog posts counting down to the date of a dangerous medical procedure, the novel follows Felix as he contends with a bully, learns about chess, makes new friends, and discovers family secrets. Characters have different ideas about gender and sex, but each is treated with compassion and understanding. There's a little swearing ("hell"), a little romantic attraction, a small amount of physical violence, and a lot of unpredictable action.
Is It Any Good?
Sometimes it's the main character's voice that draws the reader in, and this clever and compassionate science fiction tale boasts a talkative protagonist who's hard to resist. In Felix Yz, author Lisa Bunker doesn't pay much attention to the science behind Felix's multidimensional plight, but she creates a cast of offbeat characters who act as fascinating foils for stressed-out Felix. Serious issues, such as gender-switching and bullying, are treated with respect and usually a light, humorous touch.
Felix is someone adventurous middle school readers will relate to, and his story will capture hearts and open minds.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.