Where "perfect" and "goth" may not be what you think.

Summary:

Every four years, in the village of Galvadon, two children are mysteriously kidnapped and whisked away to the School for Good and Evil. Here, ordinary boys and girls are trained to become the heroes and villains of storybook legend. Sophie has been dreaming of attending the School for Good for years and is clearly an ideal candidate. With her perfect hair, flawless complexion, and great sense of fashion, she is destined to become a princess. Her best friend Agatha is the obvious choice for the School for Evil given her love of the color black, hatred of people, and affinity for graveyards.

When the big night comes, things don’t go according to plan. Agatha ends up in the School for Good, and Sophia must struggle through the School for Evil. Their friendship is tested as they learn more about who they really are and where they really belong.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I loved The School for Good and Evil and once I started, I couldn’t put it down! The author created such an interesting and complex plot, always keeping me on my toes. The best part, however, was the amazing world-building. There is no detail forgotten or ignored in creating the fairytale world. Every aspect of the school and the world it belonged to reflects the classic fairy tales we love, while also adding its own personal touch. Even the students of the are a clear representation of their fairytale parent or relative and making the connections between them was always fun.

Besides the characters’ relationships with their parents, I especially loved the characters’ relationships with each other. Best friends, nemesis, romantic interests, even a witch coven! It's also incredibly funny. Agatha’s dry wit is so much fun and the other students all have hilarious touches to add.

Repetitive events with always the same result were one of the things that brought the book down a bit for me. Because of this, the story lags a bit in the middle, but quickly picks up and gets back to being new and exciting. The other thing to be aware of is the contrast between the characters' ages and the issues they face. Sophie and Agatha are only 12, yet they (and other characters)  face some heavy problems, some of which are not handled in the best way. So even though the main characters are preteens, I recommend this book to teenagers who are a bit older.

It is a great book! You should definitely give it a try as soon as possible!


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

The School for Good and Evil is a great choice for readers who like fractured fairy tales or imaginative stories that take well-known fairy tails in new direction. 

Content Awareness Factors:

Violence is part of the plot. 


Type of Book:
This is the first book in a middle grade series where two friends have been brought to a school where that will determine whether they will be a fairy tale hero or villain.
Educational Themes:

Sophie and Agatha's assumptions about themselves are a great foundation for talking about profiling, stereotypes, and societal standards.

Reading Level:
5.2
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
11 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy! Teens will enjoy the book and re-read it to find nuggets and details they missed the first time through.

Title The School for Good and Evil
About

School for Good and Evil, Book 1

Author Soman Chainani
Publisher Harper, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2018 (Reprint Edition)
Illustrators Iacopo Bruno
ISBN 9780062104908
Material Paperback
Cost $8.99
Genres Adventure, Fables and Folklore, Fantasy, Friendship, Fairy Tale
be the star you are Cybils
Reminder: Cover images, amazon.com and indiebound.org links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.

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