A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Golden Girl, the sequel to Dust Girl, is an engaging historical fantasy that uses Depression-era Hollywood as a well-realized setting for a tale of Faerie magic. There's some violence -- including an attempted drowning and a climactic fatal shootout -- but the threat of physical violence is more prevalent than actual bloodshed. Strong language is limited to a few instances of "damn," "hell," and "bastard," along with a couple of historically accurate racist references to African-Americans ("spook," the "N" word).
What's the story?
Having left the Dustbowl behind her, half-faerie/half-human Callie LeRoux has arrived in Depression-era Hollywood with her friend Jack. She's looking for a way to rescue her parents, who are being held captive in the Faerie realm. When Callie ventures onto the movie studio back lot in search of employment, she stumbles upon the attempted kidnapping of child star Ivy Bright. Before she knows what's happening, Callie is involved in a complicated plot that involves some of the most powerful figures in Tinseltown, actor Paul Robeson, and her devious and dangerous uncle, who tempts her with hints about her enchanted heritage.
Is it any good?
GOLDEN GIRL builds upon Dust Girl's excellent start, avoiding the second-book slump by moving the action to Hollywood and raising the stakes. The plot cleverly mixes Celtic folklore with the history of Depression-era California, and author Sarah Zettel works hard to keep the magic-filled plot infused with accurate historical detail and psychological realism. The American Fairy Trilogy is shaping up as one of the best fantasy series for teen readers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Hollywood and why it's sometimes described as "magical." How to do movies present a heightened, more fantastic picture of reality?
How do film actors maintain perspective on their real lives vs. how they appear onscreen? Are some more successful than others? What are the dangers of confusing what happens on- and offscreen?
What are some of the challenges of being of mixed heritage? How would those challenges been different in America in the 1930s?
- Author: Sarah Zettel
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Arts and dance, Fairy tales, Friendship, Great girl role models, History, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Random House
- Publication date: June 25, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 12
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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