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The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Metropolitans, a new book from Blythewood trilogy author Carol Goodman, combines magic, Camelot, and history into an irresistible, exciting tale of four relatable teens on a heroic quest. As the bombing of Pearl Harbor takes place half a world away, four 13-year-olds converge on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and are quickly swept up in the struggle to decode a secret message and foil a Nazi plot to poison the city's population. There's rich historic detail and situations that bring to light issues of the time, as when a Jewish kid who's escaped the Nazis empathizes with a Japanese-American friend who's suddenly getting the same hate treatment he remembers so well. Magic, monsters, and spies keep things lively as the kids and their adult allies battle ancient evil -- and their own personal demons, as well. Lots of positive messages about family, friendship, courage, and using your power for good -- and great evocation of a time and place.
What's the story?
It's December 7, 1941, in New York City, and four 13-year-olds (soon to be known as THE METROPOLITANS) find themselves at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For recently motherless Madge, it's a way to kill a few hours while her aunt wants her out of the house. For Walt, a German Jewish kid whose parents sent him to safety with New York relatives, it's a regular destination to check out medieval armor. For Kiku, it's where her father works. Joe, a Mohawk kid who's on the lam and living rough in the park after beating a brutal principal who was beating Joe's sister, is trying to return a book Madge left on a bench. But when a creepy man does a smash-and-grab on a manuscript page just as the announcement of war breaks out, the kids are swept up in trying to foil a Nazi conspiracy to kill the population of New York, in which the Nazis seem to be getting some help from magical forces.
Is it any good?
This is a thrilling adventure full of relatable issues, appealing heroes, and deadly peril as four teens race against time to foil a deadly Nazi attack on New York in the wake of Pearl Harbor. Fans of King Arthur tales will revel in the intertwined Camelot plot as old battles are fought anew, and there's lots of historical detail about 1940s New York. Much of the story involves artifacts and employees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and readers will pick up quite a lot of information about the exhibits, as well as a strong sense that's it's not at all dull and boring.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the element of Camelot in The Metropolitans. Why do you think the stories of King Arthur have remained so popular through the centuries? Who's your favorite character in them?
What did you learn about the Kindertransport and other efforts to help Jewish kids escape the Nazis? What other stories about this chapter of history do you know? How would you feel if your parents sent you away for your own good?
If you had to do something bad to save your loved ones from death, would you?
- Author: Carol Goodman
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, History
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: March 14, 2017
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.