What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ghoulish Song is not a sequel to author William Alexander's Goblin Secrets, winner of the 2012 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, although some of the original's characters make cameo appearances here. Set amid the steampunkish trappings of the town of Zombay, it presents assorted creepy stuff as part of the landscape, from a ghoul made of bones who threatens the entire town to gruesome fates that threaten young heroine Kaile when she's separated from her shadow. Kaile faces many threats of violence and dismemberment if she doesn't stay away. The apparent suicide of a woman in the distant past has a profound impact on plot developments. There's one use of "pissing" to mean "complaining." But overall, it's an appealing, positive, often funny tale in which friendship, family bonds, kindness, music, and resourcefulness all come into play.
What's the story?
Clockwork-enhanced people and gruesome fuel sources abound in the town of Zombay, first introduced in Goblin Secrets, where young Kaile, the baker's daughter, works hard in the family business and dreams of being a musician like her recently deceased grandfather. When she shows kindness to a troupe of performing goblins, their leader presents her with a mysterious flute carved from bone, but when she plays it, she loses her shadow. In Zombay, being without a shadow is a sure sign you're dead, so Kaile suddenly finds herself with the dual challenge of convincing her family she's still alive and learning more about the flute's mysterious properties and the power of GHOULISH SONG.
Is it any good?
The same lively style, inventive plot, and imaginative setting that garnered critical raves and a large fan base for Goblin Secrets return in Ghoulish Song, adding more dimensions to the Zombay world. Bonus: appealing heroine.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how Ghoulish Song compares with Goblin Secrets. What (and who) do you recognize from the first book?
Do you like to play music? Do you know adults and kids who are musicians? Does the description here of why music is so important to Zombay have parallels in our world?
Kaile usually tries to do the right thing, but gets a rude awakening when forced to see herself from her shadow's perspective. Have you ever done something that seemed like a really good idea, only to find out other people didn't see it that way?
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Arts and dance, Brothers and sisters, Great girl role models, Misfits and underdogs|
|Publisher:||Margaret K. McElderry|
|Publication date:||March 5, 2013|
|Number of pages:||176|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||8 - 12|
|Read aloud:||8 - 12|
|Read alone:||8 - 17|
|Available on:||Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook|