Parents' Guide to

The Chandler Legacies

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Powerful tale of boarding school secrets and trauma.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Challenging themes

Well written and very readable. The book handles some heavy themes like coming out or surviving as a minority in a culture with rampant hazing and shining light on a culture that protects abusers and reputation above children's physical and mental safety. The characters are representational across a variety of ethnic and national origins, class backgrounds and sexualities, but at times this almost seemed like a box ticking exercise. I picked 15 as the age I would actively recommend this to my daughter because of the teen drinking, sleeping over in a romantic partner's room and the casual approach to sex of one character.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This touching look at the experiences of five teens at an elite boarding school explores privilege, homosexuality, bullying, and sexual abuse. The Chandler Legacies also has important messages regarding who powerful institutions choose to protect and who ends up paying the price. The story is at its best when it shows how the five students have extremely different experiences at the school, depending on their status and where they come from. With each chapter rotating between each kid's point of view, the reader gets an in-depth look at how each teen is affected by their treatment at the hands of staff and other students. This is a good story for highlighting that everyone has their own struggles, no matter how perfect their lives may seem on the outside.

The story is missing a little plot tension in that it unfolds slowly but resolves quickly. The downside of showing five points of view is that the story takes until the halfway point to really get rolling. The dialogue doesn't feel fully authentic. The author's heart is in the right place with the important messages, but the dialogue comes out sounding forced and like an adult therapist is putting words in the characters' mouths. These are minor issues, though. The book is an emotional read that will give readers much to think about. The author's personal note at the end is heartfelt and helpful, and the resources he provides could help many kids who need a safe place to go for help.

Book Details

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