Parents' Guide to

The Fire-Eaters

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

The beautiful and the bizarre coexist here.

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Is It Any Good?

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This is a lovely and satisfying book, though as with some of Almond's other novels, the beautiful and the bizarre coexist here. Some of the fire-eater's insane antics are disturbing, and the treatment of the students at Bobby's new school is certainly abusive by modern standards. But abusers get their comeuppance, the insane find peace, and the harsh and tough discover their hearts. Miracles happen, none greater than the Americans and Russians stepping back from the brink.

David Almond is certainly unique among children's authors (and perhaps adult as well). His books tend to be short on story and long on setting, atmosphere, and flights of lyricism and romantic vision so stunning that they bring a lump to the throat, and so poetic that they far outshine books actually written as poetry.

Book Details

  • Author: David Almond
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • Publication date: May 23, 2004
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 14
  • Number of pages: 218
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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