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The School for Good and Evil Paperback – April 15, 2014
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The School for Good and Evil Reading Playlist by Soman Chainani
One of my goals in writing The School for Good and Evil was to give the book new energy from chapter to chapter, so you never feel like you're in the same place twice. For each of the 30 chapters, I'd pick a book (sometimes a piece of music or an article) that I remembered loving as a child or adolescent and obsessively reread it until I put the chapter to bed. None of the books had explicit links to The School for Good and Evil -- in fact, most of them aren't even fantasy. But in the end, I realized I had a 'playlist' to my own imagination, at once light and dark, good and evil.
Compiled between April 2011 through March 2012
1. The Princess & The Witch
Mary Poppins, P.L Travers.
2. The Art of Kidnapping
Peter Pan, JM Barrie
Music Video: "Oh, Father" (Madonna, Like a Prayer)
3. The Great Mistake
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
The Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket
4. The Three Witches of Room 66
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
The Steampunk Bible, Jeff Vandermeer
5. Boys Ruin Everything
Interview with a Vampire, Anne Rice
6. Definitely Evil
The Witches, Roald Dahl
7. Grand High Witch Ultimate
The Magicians, Lev Grossman
8. Wish Fish
9. 100% Evil
The Magician King, Lev Grossman
10. Bad Group
The Hobbit, JR Tolkien
11. The School Master's Riddle
The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
12. Dead Ends
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
TV: Downton Abbey, Season 1
13. Doom Room
14. The Crypt Keeper's Solution
Room with a View, EM Forster
15. Choose Your Coffin
16. Cupid Goes Rogue
Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, John Berendt
17. The Empress' New Clothes
18. The Roach and the Fox
Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis
Auntie Mame Around the World, Patrick Dennis
Madonna Style, Carol Clerk
Music Video: "Express Yourself," Madonna
"Viva Donatella," Lauren Collins. New Yorker. 9.24.07
19. I Have a Prince
Lord of the Flies, Wiliam Golding
20. Secrets and Lies
21. Trial by Tale
And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
22. Nemesis Dreams
The Secret History, Donna Tart
Music Video: "Bedtime Story," Madonna (Bedtime Stories)
23. Magic in the Mirror
The Line of Beauty, Allan Hollingshurst
24. Hope in the Toilet
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
TV: Downton Abbey, Season 2
26. The Circus of Talents
27. Promises Unkept
Blindness, Jose Saramago
Music Video: "Frozen," Madonna (Ray of Light)
28. The Witch of Woods Beyond
The Crucible, Arthur Miller
Music Video: "What It Feels Like For a Girl," Madonna (Music)
29. Beautiful Evil
30. Never After
The Alienist, Caleb Carr
Music Video: "Falling Free," Madonna (MDNA)
With overtones of Wicked, and shaped by the world of fairy tales, comes this story of two girls plucked from their village to attend the School for Good and Evil. Pretty (on the outside) Sophie has been hoping for the schoolmaster to take her to a place where she’ll become the princess she always imagined herself to be. Homely loner Agatha is the other chosen girl, someone Sophie befriended in an effort to show off her “goodness.” But their arrival at school leads to a shock, with Agatha placed with the Evers (as in happily ever after) and a distraught Sophie stuck with the creepy Nevers. So begins a tale that sees both girls fighting their fates—and at times each other—as they search for an ending that will encompass all that they are and what they’ve learned during their Grimm adventures. The terrific cover will draw readers in, the premise is a winner, and both Sophie and Agatha are strong characters. However, this is sometimes overwritten and repetitive, dragging the narrative down in places. But those who like their fantasy laced with fairy tale will surely enjoy it. Grades 6-8. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
A School for Good and Evil
Two towers like twin heads
Once for the pure
One for the wicked
Try to escape you'll always fail
The only way out
Is through a Fairy Tale."
When I first read about the School for Good and Evil, I had a feeling it would be my kind of book and couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. I've always loved fairytales, and add in some magic with some adventure and fantasy and you have the makings of a classic.
This book did not disappoint, it had my imagination running - picturing the settings and the characters. Oh and the characters! They made you want to keep turning the pages. They were quirky fun and full of spunk.
"I don't know why people think princesses are pretty." Hester said picking a wart on her toe." Their noses are small. Like little buttons you want to pop off."
Sophie and Agatha both had so much emotion, it was easy to be a part of them and feel their struggles and how they developed and changed throughout the story. The secondary characters were also really fascinating and were able to hold their own.
The only con I had about this story, was that I kinda-sorta wished that some more the classroom settings in the book were described a little bit more. I found them interesting and intriguing. I mean a classroom made of ice? and another of sweets? That's awesome! I also have a love for books that have a school setting, so my con is more the selfish reader in me wanting more, a tiny detail that is far from a deal breaker for this book.
Nevertheless, I completely enjoyed this book and fell in love with the characters. I cannot wait to find out what happens to Agatha and Sophie in the next book!
At the School for Good and Evil, failing your fairy tale is not an option.
Welcome to the School for Good and Evil, where best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
In a village called Gavaldon, two children are kidnapped every four years, no matter how the village prepares and protects - they're always taken.
Sometimes two boys, or two girls, or sometimes one of each, but one thing never changes. One child is always good and beautiful and the other is evil and homely. They're taken away to be the heroes, royals or wicked villains of fairy tales like Snow White and her evil stepmother or Hansel and Gretel and the cannibalistic witch. They were all once top students trained at the School for Good and Evil.
With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat seems a natural fit for a villain in the School for Evil.
They two girls soon find their fortunes reversed - Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchman Training. While Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.
But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are...
Most recent customer reviews
The underlying premise of this book is really dark - an evil school...Read more
I found this book in the library and wished for more
badly (or goodly!) and the rest are great too.