A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Not only will teens learn about an important time in history, but reading this book will also likely lead to important discussion about religious intolerance and hatred.
Imparts important, timely lessons about the cost of prejudice and religious intolerance.
Positive Role Models
Complex, thought-provoking characters color this book. Readers will appreciate Estrella's discovery of who she really is, her fight for survival, and her instructions that others not forget her story.
Violence & Scariness
Matter-of-fact descriptions of horrible brutality, including beatings, burning at the stake, and a variety of grisly tortures.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few kisses.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book doesn't flinch from the excesses of the Inquisition era. It describes grisly, gruesome violence against men and women, young and old. But through this powerful story, teens learn about an important time in history and may be inspired to think about and discuss the cost of religious intolerance and hatred. Readers will appreciate Estrella's discovery of who she really is, her fight for survival, and her instructions that others not forget her story.
Is It Any Good?
This book is not long, and the reading level is accessible to 10-year-olds, but the author does not flinch from matter-of-factly depicting the hate-filled violence of which humans are capable. There are parents who believe children should face the horrors of the world head-on, and those who believe children should be shielded from them; if you are the second type, you do not want your children to read this book.
As her family is rounded up by the Inquisition, Estrella witnesses torments that are almost be beyond belief. In our era of growing worldwide religious tension, this book reminds us of the extremes to which religious intolerance and hatred can so easily lead. But that doesn't make it any easier to read.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.