Parents' Guide to

Pennyroyal Academy

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Brave kids, scary monsters, lessons galore in series debut.

Book M.A. Larson Fantasy 2014
Pennyroyal Academy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (2):

In his first departure from animation scripts, author M.A. Larson makes way, way too many trips to the office of clichés and central casting. Mysterious orphan swept off to magical academy, where weird, cranky, but lovable teachers prepare him/her for cosmic struggle -- we've seen this before and done better. Snobbery involving the purity of one's blood, ditto. Stock characters, from incognito royalty and plucky commoners to witches who live to destroy all happiness, are thick on the ground, as are repetitions of didactic points. Characters are fond of the expletive "bloody."

And yet there also are laugh-out-loud funny moments and heartfelt emotion. Some situations may be comically incongruous but lead to some interesting discussion. For example, Evie's classmate Basil, who against all odds is in training to become a princess -- because, after having 22 sons, his mom gave up trying for a girl and sent her youngest off to the Academy. As the school term ends, it's easy to care enough about several of the characters to want to know what happens next.

Book Details

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