A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Fantasy meant to entertain.
Strong messages about staying loyal to your loved ones. Also, messages about showing courage and resolve in terrifying situations, learning that everyone's "peculiar" talents are important, and that working together makes you stronger and able to accomplish more than you could on your own.
Positive Role Models
All of the kids in Miss Peregrine's "brood" model loyalty, courage, bravery, supporting their loved ones, and putting in the hard work when it's needed. Jacob wants to do whatever it takes to help his friends and continues to assume more of a leadership role. New love interest Noor is also brave and immediately loyal to the welcoming group, putting her own interests on hold to help others. They still sometimes break rules for the greater good, which usually lands them in trouble or worse, but they're showing better, more mature decision-making capabilities.
Violence & Scariness
Fantasy and real-world violence includes fighting with guns, drugged darts, magical abilities, choking, biting, and gouging eyes out. There's no gore or detailed descriptions but blood's mentioned and pain, injuries, and horrifying monsters are briefly described. Lots of scariness and peril from being chased, monsters, and being hit or crushed by falling debris. Some dream imagery has bleeding, an eye torn out, a hole in someone's chest, and boiling seas of blood. Past deaths of a grandparent and a foster parent are mentioned. Lots of eerie atmospheres described and vintage photographs reprinted.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Growing romantic feelings lead to holding hands and a kiss.
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"Asshole," "hell," "goddamned," "holy s--t," and "damned."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Miss Peregrine smokes a pipe once that makes green smoke. A teen takes a sleeping potion. A couple of mentions that people are addicted to "ambrosia." A saloon setting has a sour smell and an adult drinking at the bar. A teen drinks ale in a pub with a meal.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Conference of the Birds is the fifth in the popular Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series. Reading the series in order will really enhance your understanding of the characters and plot. Fantasy and real-world violence includes horrific monsters that kill people, and fights that include magical abilities and guns. There are no gory, detailed descriptions, but things like eye gouging, a face caved in, blood, and injuries are mentioned. Lots of peril from being chased and from dark, creepy, eerie atmospheres. Themes of loss are brief and involve a dead grandparent and dead foster parent. Strong language is rare but includes "asshole," "holy s--t," and "goddamned." A blossoming romance has some holding hands and one kiss. Miss Peregrine is described smoking a pipe once, and a couple of scenes takes place in a saloon and a pub. An adult drinks at the saloon and a teen has ale with a meal at the pub. There are a couple of mentions of people addicted to a made-up drug called "ambrosia." The teens break rules for the greater good, but overall they're starting to make better decisions. Overall messages are positive about loyalty, friendship, courage, and using your special talents to help others.
Is It Any Good?
This fifth installment in the creepy Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series delivers for fans on all fronts. The Conference of the Birds brings back favorite characters, introduces new ones, and comes right out of the gate at a full gallop. Exciting action and spooky atmospheres are balanced with periods of relative calm while the kids try to find answers to puzzling clues. Series fans will enjoy the twists and turns; old enemies; and inventive, new locations in this highly imaginitve world.
Reading the other books first is highly recommended to better understand the characters and how they've been shaped by past events. And the cliffhanger ending will have fans eagerly awaiting the next installment.
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.