Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Kids race to save imprisoned dad in magical adventure.

Book Tahereh Mafi Fantasy 2016
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Tahereh Mafi's debut middle-grade story packs tween-girl-relatable issues into the compelling tale of a 12-year-old misfit's quest for her long-lost father in a magical, potentially deadly world. In Furthermore, surprises are many and rarely good, and protagonist Alice's traveling companion is famous for his lies. It's a promising variation on the popular quest theme, fraught with perils from spells to butcher knives and thrills, wisecracks, and real-life issues like the loss of a parent and being different.

There's a lot of world-building, which will charm some readers and get in the way for others. Likewise, the narrator's voice is alternately gushy, ditzy, fussy, condescending, and snarky. Still, it doesn't take much imagination to suspect there's more to come in future installments.

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