Welcome to our Parent Content Page!
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We are so excited for you to read this month's delightful tale with your children!
Please look at the list below to find the title of the book that you would like to review the content for.We want parents and educators to feel safe with the books that they receive from us. Therefore, we are very intentional about always choosing wholesome books and high quality literature that don't contain much questionable content to be aware of before reading together.
However, because we know every family has different backgrounds, age ranges, and sensitivities, we want to give parents the opportunity to decide if they would like to skip over a section before they read aloud with their child.
If you find something that raises a red flag for you, we recommend doing one of two things, either skipping the particular passage and picking up where it leaves off, or using the passage as a teaching and discussion moment with your child about what your family values are.
Do whatever works for you and your family! This is your family read aloud time.
The Green Ember (September 2021)
- The book begins with Heather and Picket losing their family in a traumatic attack from wolves. The wolves could be scary for younger, sensitive listeners.
- There is a lot of battle scene violence, (animals sword fighting, bows and arrows, wars, rabbits dying and being wounded,) throughout the book. The most intense scenes are in the final chapters.
School Ship Tobermory (August 2021)
- Chapter 4: The word idiot is used
- Chapter 8: A girl tells a story of how how she had to live with her aunt and uncle who starved and overworked her. Grown ups didn't believe her.
- There are some bullies who use names like Seagrape and Landlubber and make fun of some of the kids.
A Wrinkle in Time (July 2021)
- Chapters 1-4: The word "tramp" is used to describe a nomad. The word "moron" is used a few times in both a rude way, and an affectionate teasing way. Dope is also used. The twins make fun of their weird older siblings.
- Chapter 5: Upon visiting the Happy Medium, they have a discussion about different warriors of light that have helped to combat the darkness throughout history. Several scientists and artists are named, as well as Jesus, Ghandi and Budda.
- Chapter 6: When Calvin looks into the ball, he sees his mother yelling and "whacking" his siblings with a stick and is filled with sadness and embarrassment. Calvin expresses in the beginning of the book that he feels like his family barely notices him, but this instance is the only mention of this kind of behavior in the book.
- Chapter 7: This chapter introduces IT and the mind control. Some things in this chapter and chapter 8 might be a little scary for sensitive audiences.
- Chapter 8: After Charles Wallace has become mind controlled by IT, he casually refers to the perfect society they have on that planet and how they have eradicated all disease by "putting down" anyone who is sick.
- Chapters 11-12: Refer to the Mrs. as Messengers of God, and quote Scripture.
A Note on the Spirituality of the Book:
Madeleine L'Engle considered herself a devout Christian and her book is sprinkled with several Scripture references as well as Christian themes. It is not however, a Christian allegory. (For instance, it also contains some Universalist themes.) A Wrinkle in Time is a sci-fi/fantasy novel and the main theme and message of the book is good conquering evil. Readers from all faiths and backgrounds can enjoy this book as it is not promoting one religion over another, however we are including this information here for those that would like to be aware of it prior to reading,
A Note Regarding the Movies:
The movie made in 2004 is a very low budget film, but is the most true to the book. In the book the Happy Medium is a woman, however in the movie they make a comment about how the Happy Medium's gender is non specific. (This is a brief scene in the middle of the movie.)
The movie made in 2018 is a very well done adaption with amazing special effects, however it differs from the book slightly more. It also replaces the Christian themes of the book with New Age themes and ideas, (think Star Wars). The scenes on Camazotz are pretty intense and might be a little too scary for younger, sensitive audiences.
The Train to Impossible Places (June 2021)
- The characters Suzy and Frederick partake in some lying and deception. Suzy has some hard moral dilemmas and initially believes that the right way to handle them is by keeping secrets. In the end, however, she realizes that telling the truth is always the best way to go, and is honest and open about everything with her friend. These moral dilemmas and hard choices that Suzy navigates are explored in the Discussion Guide.
- The Lady Crepuscula is an evil sorceress who does things like turning people into statues and steals minutes from their lives. She also has a black shadow hand that follows Suzy and the train. That is pretty much the extent of her villainous acts.
- There is one chapter in the middle of the book where they meet a group of friendly ghosts. These ghosts are very silly and not spooky at all, however if you have a problem with ghosts, this chapter could easily be skipped.
The Return to the Secret Garden (April 2021)
- The book is set in WWII and describes some scenes such as children being evacuated from London, loved ones dying in the war, and war rations and restrictions. The end of the story describes how a man died from his boat being bombed and sunk.
- Some of the boys make fun of Emmie and call her ugly, skinny and stupid.
- The governess slaps Emmie's face in one of the early chapters.
The Wind in the Willows (March 2021)
- Frequent use of the phrase "silly ass" or "don't be an ass"
- Some mention of smoking
The Tale of Despereaux (February 2021)
- This story has a beautiful message of courage, hope, love and forgiveness. The point of this story is to show how light shines brighter than the darkness, and to give children the courage to find the light in the midst of their hard times. However, in order to illustrate this, the story includes some really heavy themes. While these situations might seem unsuitable for some children, and you may want to skip, we encourage you to look them over below, along with the discussion questions in your Adventure Guide. These discussion questions are designed to help you form meaningful character building conversations with your kids, and to help you point your children to the light.
- Here are some things to be aware of:
- Despereaux's family treats him like a disappointment and ultimately betrays him.
- Roscuro, (the rat in the dungeon) is encouraged by his trainer to make "prisoners suffer." He is told that suffering is the meaning of life, (even though he feels in his soul, that light is the meaning of life.)
- The story of Miggery Sow is the one that sensitive readers might want to be the most aware of. After her mother's death, her father sells her into slavery for a pack of cigarettes and a red coat. Her owner abuses her by clouting her ears to the point of deafness. No one cares for Mig, and people bully and mistreat her her whole life. Mig's story is ultimately redeemed by the princess's compassion, her father's repentance and their reconciliation. Mig's story is a sad, but important and cautionary tale of why it is so important to value and esteem those who are the least of these in this world. We learn why people like Mig's stories matter, and how love and forgiveness are far more powerful than the darkest and deepest of hurts and injustices.
Pages and Co: The Book Wanderers (January 2021)
- Tilly's mum went missing after she was born. This is a main theme throughout the book. Tilly struggles with imagining different causes for why her mum might have left, including wondering if it could have been her fault. She imagines sometimes what her life might be like if her mum was around. Although it turns out that Tilly's mum did not leave her and was trapped in a book, and they are reunited in the end, these themes could be strong triggers for foster or adoptive children.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st St (December 2020)
- Brief mention of divorce in first chapter
- Some mild bad attitudes throughout the book, eye rolling, complaints, etc.
- Use of "Fudge" and "freaking" as an exclamation, and "jerk face" during a time of defending a sibling
- Middle school teen crushes
Farmer Boy (November 2020)
There are a few instances of Native Americans being referred to as Indians
- There are several instances throughout the book that reference corporal punishment. This form of discipline isn't portrayed as abuse but as what was consistent with the culture of the time period. Words like thrashed, thrashing, punish, and licked are used. (Tip: If you wish to not read these words, but don't want to skip over these parts, an option is substituting them for words like consequence, or "get in trouble".
- There are two chapters that tell a story of a group of bullies wanting to "thrash the teacher" for their amusement. These chapters could be a great option for discussion time, but they could also be easily skipped without losing any pertinent information to the story.
- References to prayer, the Lord, and attending church on Sundays. Non-religious families may wish to skip these parts.
Henry and the Chalk Dragon (September 2020)
- Mention of "dragon poop" and "burping" in early chapters
- Some mild bullying and name calling in early chapters