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Parents' Guide to

Rebel of the Sands

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Wild West meets Arabian Nights in exciting fantasy kickoff.

Rebel of the Sands Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Parental discretion advised

I work in a primary school library and one of my 10 year old readers asked me to look at this series because he didn’t think it was appropriate for his age range. He was right. I really enjoyed this book and story line. The author crafts a detailed and exciting world that younger readers would enjoy but the mature themes pitch this book squarely for teens and up. Use of words such as “whore”, the sale of young women to men and allusions to rape by soldiers and other men are frequent throughout the story. The are several scenes of excessive drinking an the budding feelings between the two main characters lead to loaded moments, looks lingering on bodies, a few steamy kisses etc All in all I enjoyed this book but I’ll be removing the series from our primary school library!
age 16+

Under 12 but Over 15....

I gave this book 4 stars because I thought it was very creative in its world-building and the build up to its bigger plot twists. CommonSense Media asks for an age and up, so I chose 15. To be honest, thought I would say an 11 or 12 year old could read it, but then skip kids age 13 - 15 who will understand a lot more of the unspoken subtext of how the women are being treated and leared at. As an Orthodox Jewish mother who pre-reads a lot of YA fantasy before handing them over to my 15 year old son, I wouldn't run to give this to him because there is a lot of that very exciting sensual sense of something almost, which I think is possibly more of a challenge for kids then mentioning a kiss outright. As far as plot, I really did like the story. I will say that I felt, toward the end, that the fantasy side took over a bit too much and I would have liked it to have managed a little more of a "mixed cast" so to speak, but I would still pick up the sequel at the library.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (6 ):

Fantasy lovers will enjoy this exciting kickoff to a planned trilogy that combines the dusty, ramshackle grit of the Wild West with the magic and folklore of the Arabian desert. Teens and tweens will relate to Amani as she chafes against her rigid society's rules and root for the brave, smart-alecky, stubborn teen as she escapes into the adventurous unknown.

Ever-present danger and excitement keep the pages turning, except when, as often happens in the middle of fantasy novels, the story bogs down with overlong exposition. The last third of the book adds a colorful band of rebels, and the ending leaves plenty of room for further adventures.

Book Details

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