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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the 10-volume Pendragon series tells the story of Bobby Pendragon, a space/time "Traveler" who learns to use his special gifts to protect the inhabitants of Halla -- the fantastical world where he lives -- from the diabolical villain Saint Dane. Like Harry Potter, Bobby -- age 14 in Book 1, The Merchant of Death -- grows up as the series progresses and becomes more skilled at using his powers. The books include a few curse words ("damn," "hell," "bulls--t"), the occasional boy-girl kiss, and a couple of scenes with adults smoking tobacco or drinking wine. Of more concern may be the degree of violence. Sensitive readers may be upset by the books' mention of dead and wounded soldiers, the Hindenburg disaster, and fantastical creatures that kill with claws and teeth.
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What's the story?
In D.J. MacHale's 10-volume PENDRAGON series, middle-schooler Bobby Pendragon discovers he is a Traveler, meaning he has special powers that allow him to travel from one planet, or \"territory,\" to another within Halla (all the territories combined). Bobby's mentor, Uncle Press, is also a Traveler, and he guides Bobby in a mission to prevent the evil Saint Dane from destroying Halla. Bobby also time-travels to visit World War II-era America, where he witnesses the Hindenburg disaster and learns about tragic events in the war. Bobby is often assisted in his mission by his friends, Courtney and Mark. Along the way, Bobby learns survival skills, including the importance of respecting the traditions and values of each world he visits. Fourteen years old when the series begins, Bobby grows up over the course of the series, becoming more adept at using his learned and natural powers.
Is it any good?
The Pendragon fantasy-adventure series is very popular with middle-grade readers, particularly boys, with good reason. While these books don't have the same balanced level of humor, feeling and character development that the great Harry Potter series has, D.J. MacHale creates a fascinating, original world where the stakes are always high and readers are constantly in suspense.
Talk to your kids about ...
Do you think Bobby is lucky to be a Traveler? If you could travel back in time, what time and place would you visit?
Pendragon bears some similarity to other fantasy series like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. If you've read these, or others, what are the similarites and differences?
- Author: D. J. MacHale
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, History, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publishers: Aladdin, Simon & Schuster
- Publication date: September 1, 2002
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 15
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, App
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.