A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Critical thinking skills play a key role. The mythic qualities of the battle for Story resonate with other cosmic clashes kids will encounter in many media. And, since Story's End takes place in a land where every character has a well-defined role, not only as a Hero or Villain, but in a particular style, e.g. Modern or Western, this book, like Storybound, serves, as a lively introduction to concept of literary genres and the many different kinds of stories available to young readers.
Messages about perseverance, loyalty, friendship; the ability of unlikely characters to come through in a crisis; and the importance of seeing through efforts to manipulate you.
Positive Role Models
Una and her friends are believably flawed, but try to do the right thing and show courage, loyalty and resourcefulness. As Snow and her mother fight for their lives and the future of Story, their prickly relationship turns to a more positive bond. The mysterious Kai, who always shows up in the nick of time, is a positive influence on the kids and on larger events.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is more feared than glorified, as the characters are threatened with various types of harm -- death, having your body taken over by a zombie-like creature, being "written out" and made to have never existed. One evil character murders another; some characters, mostly evil ones, are killed in battle.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Story's End is the sequel to Storybound, and kids who haven't read the first book may have trouble making sense of the plot, which involves good and evil forces battling for the land of Story. Once again, plucky young heroine Una Fairchild, who discovered the terrible secret of her parentage in Storybound and inadvertently set a cosmic clash in motion, joins forces with Peter, Snow, Indy, and other friends to keep everyone and everything they love from a terrible fate. There's mortal combat between the good, the evil, and the undead, and some combatants are killed; one evil character murders another.
Is It Any Good?
Kids who already know the characters will enjoy the reunion and the fast-moving adventure of Story's End. Kids who haven't read the imaginative, complex Storybound may have a hard time getting their bearings concerning Story and its inhabitants, as well as the cosmic clash that threatens to engulf them.
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.