The Hero and the Crown

Common Sense Media says

Teens love this mature, Newbery-winning fantasy.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 
Newbery Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Several incidental characters disapprove of the main character's actions simply because she is female.

Violence

Several life-or-death battles.

Sex

Aerin spends the night with Luthe.

Language

Infrequent and mild.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the heroine defies convention to remains true to herself.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

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. Robin McKinley has given readers a surprisingly realistic female role model, one that will quickly capture their imagination and attention.

Families can talk 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?

Book details

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

This review of The Hero and the Crown was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old January 13, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

A Great Book; Sometimes Difficult to Understand

This is a very good book telling the story of a young out casted girl Aerin. McKinley writes in an interesting manner which can sometimes be difficult to understand, but when you get past that there is some very good writing, and a good story. The only problem was some of the sexual scenes. A skilled reader can read if 10+ but even for me it was a difficult book to read at times.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMeow314159 May 31, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Boring!

I read this when I was 13 and I thought it was the most boring book. I mean it dragged on and on and on....it wasn't that exciting either
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byCell3 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

My first Robin McKinley book I ever read

You know, what the heck, I read his two years ago, so my opinion may be, ah, off. But I thought that it was not that great for my then, when I was eleven or so, but I got more out of it when I turned thirteen and skimmed through it again. Still, 2 out of 5.

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