A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
Will and his friends destroy a Tripod with grenades. Huge, ominous Tripods stalk the lead characters, and at one point Will is snatched up by one. Will agonizes over the decisions he must make as he travels on his way.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book's plot is thin but solid, and the writing spare yet powerful. The appeal of a boy free to set his own course in life offsets the slow pace.
Is It Any Good?
This book has a fascinating premise, and though its pace is slow -- especially for today's young readers, who are used to roller-coaster movie action -- the rewards are great. This is an adventure for thoughtful young people.
The growing realization of the young hero, Will Parker, that he cannot help but reject his docile society, will resonate with passionate young readers who question their own world and their place in it. And his journey is a rite of passage much like adolescence itself. He becomes much more self-aware, but he has his doubts, and at one point he is prepared to settle for easy luxury among the nobility, even if it means abandoning his friends and his quest.
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