A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ferals, the first of a planned trilogy, is action-packed and full of spine-tingling creepy-crawlies such as poisonous snakes and teeming masses of cockroaches. The good guys are frequently in peril, and the fantasy violence mentions blood and pain frequently but without gore, although one description of a spider disintegrating is mildly gory. Animal companions also frequently are in peril. The hero is always defending himself or his loved ones, and even when he has the opportunity to exact revenge by killing, he doesn't want to cause harm to others and urges his friends to take the high road and show mercy.
What's the story?
The only thing 13-year-old Caw remembers about his parents is that eight years ago they shoved him out of his bedroom window to be carried off by crows. Raised by crows on the streets of a decaying city, Caw is somehow able to talk to the crows and understand what they say. One night, some prisoners escape from the nearby prison, and Caw sees that they seem able to communicate with animals too. And one of the prisoners bears the same mark Caw has seen in his recurring dream about the night his parents disappeared from his life. Finding the connection between the convicts and the night his life changed leads Caw to meet other "ferals," people who can talk to animals. But, just as with normal humans, there are good ferals and bad ferals. If Caw wants to learn the truth about his past, he'll have to face down the greatest villain his city has ever known.
Is it any good?
With FERALS, author Jacob Grey revels in the creepy-crawly dark side of fantasy. Readers will immediately be drawn in by the rich, vivid descriptions of the shadowy Caw and his crow family, and the pages will keep turning as the action and mystery take turns propelling the story forward. But it's not all gloom and doom: Caw strikes up a friendship with Lydia, a girl about his age, who slowly draws Caw out of the shadows and back into the world of people.
Big kid and tween fantasy fans will delight in the thrills, chills, and excitement of this refreshing take on the dark superhero.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why fantasies are so popular. Why do we love reading them so much?
Have you ever felt a special connection with an animal? If you could talk to it and understand it, what do you think it would say to you?
Which other fantasy books have you read? Do you like this one as much? Why?
- Author: Jacob Grey
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Misfits and Underdogs, Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: April 28, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 288
- 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.