A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Teeth is a contemporary fantasy novel with extremely strong language, including countless uses of "f--k" and "s--t." There's a fair amount of violence, including beatings, torture, sexual assault, and several deaths in a shootout. Rudy, the protagonist, garners some sympathy, but his language and actions are sometimes so harsh and hysterical (lots of yelling and cursing and wailing at the unfairness of it all) that they detract from the novel's theme of friendship and loyalty.
What's the story?
Rudy's family has come to a remote island with the hope that a diet of magical fish will cure his younger brother's cystic fibrosis. In the local waters, he discovers a mysterious half-human/half-fish hybrid who calls himself Teeth, and the two develop a strange, emotionally loaded friendship. But when it becomes clear that the welfare of his brother and of Teeth are at terrible odds, Rudy must decide where to put his loyalty.
Is it any good?
TEETH has a distinctive (if extremely crude) narrative voice and an intriguing setup, but its fable-like quality is undercut by its refusal to play by the rules of logic. While perfectly willing to believe in fish/human hybrids, Rudy immediately dismisses seeking help on the island or elsewhere. With the exception of Rudy's brother Dylan, all the characters seem to operate at a level of maximum hysteria, which becomes exhausting after a while.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence and how it's used in fiction. Do you find it effective in Teeth or over the top?
Why do you think half-human/half-creature stories remain so popular, from ancient mythology to contemporary fantasy novels?
What might it feel like to leave all your friends behind and live in a new, isolated environment?
- Author: Hannah Moskowitz
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Ocean creatures, Wild animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication date: January 1, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 288
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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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.