Parents' Guide to

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Author's last is a rousing, delightful adventure.

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Published just a few months after the author's death, Lloyd Alexander's final book is a lighthearted romp through an exotic fairytale landscape from the Arabian Nights. Though his characters for the most part come straight from central casting, Alexander treats them with such warmth and fondness for the foibles of humanity that it's hard to mind. Certainly kids won't -- they'll be delighted, especially by Baksheesh, a big-talking old scoundrel who works hard to hide his good heart.

This is a rousing adventure of the old-fashioned kind; a young man out in the world for the first time, seeking his fortune, and finding exotic locales, villains, heroes, wise men, danger, romance, and his place in the world. It's a travelogue, with humor, suspense, mystery, and a whiff of fantasy; the kind of story that used to keep kids up late at night, under the covers with a flashlight. Can this kind of thing appeal to kids growing up in the modern world of high-tech wizardry and video games? Check for a flickering light under your kid's door after bedtime -- then you'll know.

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