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Great Book—NOT for Small Children (Spoilers in Review)
on December 18, 2015
I am giving this book a mediocre review, but not because it is a bad book. It is actually quite intriguing and well-written. However, it is *not* appropriate for young (or older sensitive) children, and a lot of these other reviews are very deceiving.
I bought it for my 6 year old daughter, and this is something I regret as I am going to have to put the book away after we started reading it. The prologue and first two chapters are excellent. They are reminiscent of a fairy tale mixed with more popular classics like 'Wizard of Oz," "Mary Poppins" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
By the third chapter, we are reading about a sadistic warlock who tortures a sentient mouse and kills it by throwing its body against a wall. Then he summons roaches to eat its body. I read through it fast and my daughter doesn't frighten easily--or we would have stopped right ther. After she went to bed, I read ahead a little, because I was concerned about this scene.
One of the main characters is grievously harmed in front of her love (who was forced to watch) by being smashed against an iron fence. Then warlock summoned a flock of evil birds to tear apart. At the end of this chapter, Santa "closed her lidless eyes."
I am not a mom who hides my child in bubble wrap or sugarcoats the world (ex - I will read my daughter "Harry Potter" and "The Witch, the Lion and the Wardrobe), but I am very shocked people are reading this to young children. I would not recommend this to a child under 10--and some sensitive 10+ year olds may find it too scary. I plan to finish the book myself (it is actually very good for an older reader), but feel sad I need to shelve it from my daughter until she is older. She reads way too well for me to verbally edit it.