A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Season of Styx Malone, by Kekla Magoon (How It Went Down), was named a 2019 Coretta Scott King (Author) Honor Book. It's a kooky adventure tale about two small-town Indiana brothers, Caleb, 10, and Bobby Gene, 11, who come under the influence of a cool but shady 16-year-old neighbor with big secrets. Parents should be prepared to talk about peer pressure, how to make good choices, standing up to friends, and foster care. A boy is injured in and accident, with some blood described, but he ends up OK. "Damn" is used twice.
What's the story?
In THE SEASON OF STYX MALONE, Caleb wants to experience life beyond his small town in Indiana. With a whole summer of adventure before him, Caleb and his brother, Bobby Gene, encounter Styx Malone, a cool kid with some big secrets. The promise of the Great Escalator Trade (trading a small thing for something better on the way to reaching what your really want, in this case a scooter) tests the kids and their friendships as things get crazier than they ever imagined. Can it get any crazier than trading your baby sister for a bag of fireworks?
Is it any good?
This fun, kooky, madcap adventure is a fun read with nuanced layers and a plot driven by the desire to be something and somewhere else. Author Kekla Magoon kicks off The Season of Styx Malone with a compelling question: Are you special if you're the only one who sees it?
Styx is a shady, older teen character, and Caleb is too trusting, but the twisty intrigue has readers asking important questions about character motivation and decision making.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about peer pressure in The Season of Styx Malone. How much are Caleb's decisions due to his own desires or to the influence of Styx? Have you ever had friends with strong personalities who made it hard to say no? How did you navigate those friendships?
Caleb's dad talks about maintaining a scale of optimism. How do you stay positive in life?
Does it count as stealing if you make an unwitting trade? What about withholding information that might make a person change his mind? Is having good morals a clear case of black and white/good and bad, or are there gray areas?
- Author: Kekla Magoon
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Wendy Lamb
- Publication date: October 16, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: Coretta Scott King Medal and Honors
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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