A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Educational ValueReligious belief, myths, and legends from around the world are blended together to fashion a unique view of the afterlife. Readers will learn a bit about Irish beliefs about banshees and death and get acquainted with some key religious figures from other cultures, including Anubis (Egypt), Nergal (Mesopotamia), and Oya (Yoruba).
Positive MessagesConor learns that sometimes we're only able to choose the least-awful option -- and often we don't have any choice at all. Even when we have good friends to lean on, making choices can be terribly difficult. Still, being passive is even worse.
Positive Role ModelsConor is timid but true to himself. He resists his grandfather's well-intentioned urging to loosen up and break some rules. Forced into a difficult position, he learns to exert whatever control he can and to live with the consequences. He lies about Ashling's true identify but for very good reasons; his grandfather is a troublemaker with a spotty record as a father, but his backstory helps put him in a good light. Conor's parents are involved but somewhat distant: His mother is very busy with work and school, and his father is trying to push his son into following the path he wanted.
Violence & ScarinessAshling recounts her death at the hands of raiders, who struck her in the head with an ax. Death, of course, is an ongoing theme. One main character dies, and there's brief discussion of the death of a child in a playground accident.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters kiss briefly.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
One adult says "friggin'," and a few characters use the expression "cripes." There are a few references to "unmentionable" words.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & SmokingAn uncle who drank beer and belched is briefly mentioned, and a peripheral character suffers emphysema after years of smoking.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to KnowParents need to know that in Texting the Underworld, it's a given that one of the central characters will die; the suspenseful question is who it will be. Love and inevitable loss are central themes. The blending of cultural beliefs about death, the afterlife, and reincarnation are sure to give children plenty of food for thought. It's a comforting read, in the end, but it might be a difficult read for very sensitive kids.
Is It Any Good?
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.