The Hero and the Crown
By Jessica Pierce,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teens love this mature, Newbery-winning fantasy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Several incidental characters disapprove of the main character's actions simply because she is female.
Violence & Scariness
Several life-or-death battles.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Aerin spends the night with Luthe.
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Infrequent and mild.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the heroine defies convention to remain true to herself.
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What's the Story?
Fighting dragons. Wielding a magic sword. Not proper behavior for a young princess. But Aerin, through sheer stubbornness, teaches herself to do both, never dreaming that she is destined to become her country's savior. Vivid descriptions of a fantastic world, along with a powerfully written main character, make this book a favorite for young-adult readers.
Is It Any Good?
Robin McKinley has given readers a surprisingly realistic female role model, one that will quickly capture their imagination and attention. She is by no means invincible -- she is an imperfect human being, and makes numerous mistakes, often putting herself in great danger. However, even in her darkest moments, Aerin remains true to herself and to her goals.
As a princess, Aerin-sol is generally expected to keep to her castle. She meets with a great deal of disapproval, from the king and from everyone else, when she teaches herself to slay dragons and embarks on a quest to save her city.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the expectations for Aerin. What kind of life is she expected to lead? Why is she discouraged from learning to slay dragons? Do you think she would be as successful -- both in terms of her tasks and her personal growth -- if she had been encouraged to follow that path?
- Author: Robin McKinley
- Genre: Fantasy
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Penguin Group
- Publication date: January 1, 1984
- Number of pages: 227
- Award: Newbery Medal and Honors
- Last updated: June 25, 2015
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