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Once Upon a Marigold Hardcover – October 1, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Shara Alpern, The Free Library of Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Lexile Measure : 840L
- Grade Level : 2 - 5
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0152167919
- ISBN-13 : 978-0152167912
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.87 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Harcourt Children's Books; 1st Edition (October 1, 2002)
- Reading level : 10 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,176,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 4.8 -- Plot is engaging from start to finish. Has many unique elements, no major holes, and a sense of focus. Setting and timeline are reasonably clear and believable. This story is full of humor and intrigue, with a good dose of love (both familial and romantic) thrown in. Never a dull moment. And while there's a bit of a teaser for the sequels tacked on at the very end, it's a very complete and satisfying story by itself. Minor issues with setting and timeline: we don't learn the name of Marigold's kingdom until the very end, and the age dynamics of her triplet sisters (who were at least 15 when they married) and the twin princes (who, according to my math, were no more than 14 when they wed) feels odd.
Characters: 5 -- Relatable, realistic, interesting, dynamic characters. Even minor characters have depth, as do the relationships between characters. Lots of unique, amusing, and interesting characters. Edric, Christian, Marigold, and the dogs probably get the most coverage, so we get to know them best, but there's also Swithbert, the triplets, and even Magnus, who all have distinct personalities and significant moments. And Olympia, though she's pretty solidly in villain territory, isn't entirely predictable. I really enjoyed the bond of the father-figures with their children, and all of Christian and Marigold's relationship, from p-mail messages to being blissfully, happily married.
Mechanics and Writing: 4.8 -- Few, if any, typos, punctuation issues, or word errors. (<6/100pgs) Intelligent use of POV. Skillful writing that adds to the story. Errors include a few odd-sounding phrases, and a number of issues that are clearly a result of a print book being scanned into a digital copy (the letters cl fusing into a d, some mixed up punctuation, and so on). POV is the kind of universal-storyteller 3rd person, giving the broader narration and informing the reader of characters' thoughts and emotions when it furthers the story.
Redeeming Value: 4.8 -- Partially focused uplifting themes or lessons. Drugs, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified at all. No explicit sex scenes. Clear moral guidelines for behavior. This is a clean story, definitely suitable for children. Some scheming that involves violence, poisoning, and injuries, but evil ultimately comes out the loser. Our heroes do a bit of sneaking and plotting of their own, but Olympia's overbearing selfishness is clearly far worse. Lessons in friendship, fatherhood, and what it takes to be a good ruler (in contrast to the examples of poor leadership).
Personal Enjoyment: 5 -- I loved it. It made me feel in all the best ways, and leaves me content and satisfied. One I'll definitely read again.
This is a story about being yourself in a world where others' expectations are desperately trying to form you into someone completely different, a story about friendship and about love.
Both boys and girls can relate to this book and is great for gradeschoolers on up!
At 272 pages this book is actually a very quick read. I typically don't finish books in one day but I was so thoroughly engrossed in this entertaining tale that I cuddled up in bed with my dog and was through most of the book in just a few hours. The recommended age on the back of this book is 10 and up and that is probably fairly accurate, although this would be a marvelous story to read aloud to even younger children. While not overly complex, this is a sophisticated children's book and one that any fairy-tale loving adult would enjoy. I'm looking forward to checking out more of Ferris' novels. I highly recommend this book.