A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
May lead readers to find out how the semiprecious stone lapis lazuli really forms (sadly, there are no giant, magical worms involved).
Bravery and a love for family and friends win out over greed and cruelty.
Positive Role Models
Alice, or Tod as she prefers to be called, is a strong girl character. She loses her family but still fights for the people in her village. She's confused about her place in the world, but determined to find her own way.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of worry and fear over those abducted by walking, nocturnal snakelike creatures call garmin. They're later found out to be enslaved -- Tod's father goes missing and Tod's whole village is burned. Even young children are enslaved and one young boy's life is threatened repeatedly. Many of the slaves are threatened with death by drowning. Tod is kidnapped and wrapped in a sticky cocoon. A couple of punches are thrown. People and animals are frozen and revived. Talk of Tod's mother dying when Tod was 7 and garmin killing harmless shapeshifter creatures for sport.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A mention of elderflower champagne.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that TodHunter Moon, Book 1: PathFinder is a spin-off of the Septimus Heap Series. Readers will be much more comfortable getting into the story if they've read the other series first. Septimus Heap, his brothers and sisters, and his whole magical world are still present and barely explained. A brave girl named Tod is at the center of the new series. Her father goes missing right off the bat and much of her fishing village is destroyed by fire as the people are rounded up and enslaved by walking, nocturnal snakelike creatures call garmin. Tod gets kidnapped by the garmin and saved, and she and her brave companions try to get their loved ones back before they're threatened with drowning. A young boy's life is threatened repeatedly. Like the Septimus Heap series, all the other content is mild, making it a good choice for young fantasy fans not yet ready for the magical world of Harry Potter.
Is It Any Good?
For a book about people called PathFinders, this oddly meanders a lot; it lacks a clear structure and objective for its heroic characters until close to the end. Which can be pretty hard on the reader, especially those not fully engaged in the Septimus Heap world already (this reviewer read the first four Septimus Heap books and still got a little lost).
If readers have read all previous books and are loyal fans, they'll really like Tod regardless of story structure problems. She's a brave tomboy character who has some pretty cool skills to contribute if she decides to study magic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.