Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Child-author's debut will inspire kids.

Book Nancy Yi Fan Fantasy 2006
Swordbird Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (3):

Taken as the work of a truly gifted 11-year-old, this is extraordinary. Any middle-school teacher would be thrilled to have a student do work like this, and Fan is certainly a budding talent worth watching for in the future. Is it fair to judge it the same way that novels by adults are judged? On that basis, it is sorely lacking: Stilted prose and sometimes embarrassingly awkward dialogue, a simplistic, derivative plot -- if this had been written by an adult, it is unlikely it would have seen print.

Does that matter? Probably not. Middle-graders will undoubtedly enjoy it (pleasure enhanced by knowing that a kid wrote it), and be inspired by its young author, maybe even to the point of trying some writing of their own. So no harm done, and maybe something to the good.

Book Details

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.

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.

See how we rate