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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Called “A new Narnia for the tween set” by the New York Times and perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials series, The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world. These three siblings have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage. Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about. Until now. Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey through time to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.…

The Emerald Atlas

by John Stephens

Overall Book Review:

Just when you think that there can’t be any more room in the middle grade fantasy genre, along comes a book like The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens to assert that there is still plenty of room for a rich fantasy filled with vibrant characters.  Endearing, unique, quirky characters and a formidable villain coupled with an unpredictable plot-line and resolution propel this novel.  However, it is the sibling relationship of Kate, Michael, and Emma that provides the true heart of this story.  Orphans that must depend on each other, their realistic love-you/you-drive-me-crazy relationships creates one of the best sibling connections since The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Rich with admirable themes revolving around resolve, determination, love, and family, this is a fantasy that can be enjoyed by younger and older readers alike.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House Children’s Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  4 mild obscenities.

Note:  Instances/use of the term “bloody” not tallied.

Violence/Gore:  Verbal threats to kill children, chop off character’s hand; a chase scene that could be considered scary; report of a death (no details); report of a death in an accidental fire; report of a man cut in half by a sword; children are hit by fantasy creatures; report/confession of poisoning; animals chase children resulting in death of animals and injury of a human; a deer is killed with food, brief mention of blood and brief description of dressing the animal; character battles fantasy creatures in which creatures are beheaded, cut in half, thrown into chasm, etc.; characters are shot with arrows; a fantasy creature eats a character; extended battle scene involving swords, arrows, biting, struggles, death (non-graphic descriptions).

Sex/Nudity:  Character states she will have an “affair” with a man.

Mature Subject Matter:

Orphans, Death

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adult characters smoke pipes. Report of an adult character smoking in bed.  Cold children are given a drink of whiskey.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!