A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Foiled features a strong female protagonist who is a competitive fencer in this first volume of a series. There's fantasy swordplay with no bloodshed. Some strong language ("hell," "damn," "bastard") is spoken in fight scenes and in times of great stress.
What's the story?
Aliera Carstairs loves fencing with her teammates and fantasy role-playing games with her cousin. She also has a crush on her biology lab partner, Avery Castle. When Avery invites Aliera on her first date, the worlds of fencing and fantasy collide, with Aliera suddenly able to see the denizens of Faerie and use her magical foil to fight off the monsters who come after her.
Is it any good?
FOILED has a sharp young protagonist with an interesting (and still somewhat mysterious) backstory. Author Jane Yolen and artist Mike Cavallaro capture both Aliera's social awkwardness and expert athleticism. The shifts between fantasy and reality are handled with wit and energy. Unfortunately, this first volume is a lot of setup without much payoff yet. Nevertheless, Foiled is an engaging opener and promises more enjoyable complications to come in subsequent volumes, including the next one, Curses! Foiled Again.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether female athletes given the same level of respect as their male counterparts. Are some sports regarded as "girly" and others as more masculine?
What's fun about reading graphic novels? How are the illustrations in panel sequences effective in moving the story forward?
Why is the "secret hero" such a powerful trope, both in folklore and in popular culture?
- Author: Jane Yolen
- Illustrator: Mike Cavallaro
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Fairy Tales, Great Girl Role Models, High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: First Second
- Publication date: April 13, 2010
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 11 - 17
- Number of pages: 160
- Available on: Paperback
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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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.