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Awaken by Meg Cabot

This is actually the third book in a trilogy. Protagonist Pierce Oliviera lives in the Underworld with boyfriend John who comes from a different era. As well as dealing with Fates and Furies, Pierce and John face many of the issues that 21st century young adults encounter. 

The pace is fast and the characters develop well.    

Each chapter is prefaced with a quote from Dante’s Inferno. By the end of the novel the young reader will have encountered some important parts of this classic. 

The reference to mythology should spark some curiosity in the reader though they can enjoy the novel without knowing the stories behind it. 

A useful list of characters and places is found at the end but I found I did not need to refer to it, even though I’d not read the first two books.

The book is 343 pages long with blocked text and printed in an adult font.      


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …