A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Skyward plays a little fast-and-loose with its science, but it does give a sense of what a futuristic space battle might be like. The narrative provides opportunities to discuss the nature of heroism.
Perseverance is often the key to success. Someone who seems to act like a coward might actually be brave.
Positive Role Models
Sansa starts out cocky, sure that she'll become a space pilot on the first try. As she competes for a spot, she learns that she needs to reassess her skills and learn to work as part of a team. She especially bristles at being called a coward.
Violence & Scariness
Many battles between spaceships, in which some important characters perish. But no graphic bloodshed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Minor flirting between cadets.
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Small amount of swearing, limited to perhaps to a dozen uses of "damn." The characters use "scud" as an all-purpose expletive.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Skyward is the futuristic space adventure focused on the training of fighter pilots. Written by Brandon Sanderson (Steelheart), it's the first of a planned trilogy, and it features many battles against alien pilots. Some key characters perish, but there's little actual bloodshed. Swearing is limited to perhaps a dozen uses of "damn," the characters preferring "scud" as an all-purpose expletive. Sexual content is limited to vague flirting.
Is It Any Good?
Space battles don't always work well in prose, but this sci-fi adventure adds a human dimension that will keep the pages turning. Would-be pilot Sansa is an engaging protagonist: gutsy and determined, if more than a bit stubborn and quick to make snap judgments. The supporting cast is diverse and interesting.
Author Brandon Sanderson does a good job of choreographing the space battles, so that the reader knows what's happening and what the stakes are. But the book seems longer than it needs to be, and some of the revelations at the end feel rushed. Readers who enjoy Ender's Game wil likely appreciate Skyward and look forward to the saga's next installment.
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.