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Parents' Guide to

The Tears of the Salamander

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

A dark, brilliant, and breathtaking surprise.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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The story isn't the story here; it's a perfectly serviceable story, of course, and in the hands of a lesser writer that's all it would be. But this soaringly lyrical combination of music, fire, and magic rises off the page like an aria.

Alfredo is a most appealing hero. Though a choirboy, he possesses both the talents and the anger of his forebears, who master the most elemental of forces. He's a deeply loving, empathetic, and emotional boy whose powers of deduction are formidable. And though he tries hard to love his strange uncle, when he discovers the truth, his vengeance is both methodical and terrible. With so much fantasy these days seeming to follow the same formula, this dark and brilliant novel is a breathtaking surprise.

Book Details

  • Author: Peter Dickinson
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publication date: September 7, 2003
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
  • Number of pages: 197
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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