Journey to the Lights: Disney Frozen: Northern Lights

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Journey to the Lights: Disney Frozen: Northern Lights Book Poster Image
Upbeat "Frozen" spin-off is an easy chapter book for fans.

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age 2+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Demonstrates how creativity, teamwork, observational skills, and courage can lead to productive problem-solving. An eight-page color spread explains the conditions that lead to the aurora borealis, including contrasting what we know today to what people in "Anna and Elsa's time" believed.

Positive Messages

Clear emphasis on teamwork, optimism, and empathy. Lack of skill or talent isn't a reason not to succeed -- it's smart to recognize when you need to turn to others for help. Try tackling ambitious goals with clear focus, taking it one step at a time. Stories can provide valuable lessons with real-world applications.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite worry and self-doubt, Little Rock is optimistic. He thoughtfully lends his crystals to his traveling companions in recognition of their contributions to his quest. His friends and the troll community are supportive and encouraging, helping Little Rock find his path to success. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf share stories to help Little Rock relax.

Violence & Scariness

Briefly perilous situations including an avalanche, ice cracking on a frozen river, and a winter storm. Character retells story of saving someone's life by identifying a poisonous plant.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Journey to the Lights is part of an expansion of Disney's smash Frozen franchise that includes additional books and animated shorts. This novel is an easy-to-read adventure featuring favorite characters and references to the film, along with a new character, a young troll. There's no real violence or sense of danger, despite cracking ice underfoot, a winter storm, and an avalanche: Quick thinking, magic, and good humor make short work of any hazards. The story is slight but nevertheless delivers an encouraging lesson on teamwork and perseverance. Large print, short chapters, and alternating storytellers make this an especially appealing choice for children beginning to read chapter books.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byHah198 January 18, 2018

What's the story?

Kristoff has a surprise for Elsa and Anna: He's taking them to Troll Valley to witness a special crystal ceremony that takes place under the northern lights. His young friend Little Rock is to be honored for earning his Level 1 crystal. But things don't quite go as planned: Little Rock hasn't completed his tracking crystal, and both the northern lights and the troll leader are absent. The sisters, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven set off on a quest with Little Rock to help the worried troll earn his crystal before winter arrives.

Is it any good?

This cheerful little adventure is a fun jaunt into Elsa and Anna's magical world, ideal for young Frozen fans who are just getting started with chapter books, either read aloud or on their own. JOURNEY TO THE LIGHTS earnestly showcases three key traits -- being courageous, observant, and inventive -- with clear examples of each in action.

The slight story occasionally skates dangerously close to sermonizing, but the charming characters keep it light and engaging. Though targeted to ages 8 and up, simple sentences, big print, and thematic structure make it a good choice for kids as young as 6. A colorful center spread explains the northern lights, and each page sets the text against a border with a soft blue landscape. Other artwork is limited to cropped versions of the cover art.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Little Rock's friends help him without doing the work for him. Do you find it easy to ask for help? What kind of help do you appreciate when you're stuck on something?

  • Would this story be as appealing if it didn't include characters you already knew and loved from the movie Frozen? How does this book compare with the movie that inspired it? 

  • Little Rock's friends tell stories that inspire him and offer solutions to the problems they're facing. Have you learned anything from a story that helped you in real life?

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