Author: Soman Chainani Genre: Middle Grade Page Count: 488
I wouldn’t exactly call The School for Good and Evil a fairy tale re-telling. To me it’s more about how fairy tales come to be. Agatha and Sophie are from a small village where every 4 years a “good” person and a “bad” person are taken by the School Master and whisked off to an unknown place. The village does not know what happens to the children, just that they never come back. Agatha is a dark-haired introvert who lives in the graveyard of the village. Sophie is the blonde haired “good” person who has taken Agatha has her good deed. When both girls are whisked away by the School Master Agatha is put in the School for Good and Sophie is put in the School for Evil which is clearly a mistake. Right?
I really enjoyed this story. It was compulsively readable and I enjoyed how Chainani was able to give something like origin stories for some of my favorite fairy tales, while also crafting his own fairy tale. I loved the darkness that was in the story and the world building was top-notch. The themes on the surface of good and evil, acceptance, and finding your true self were done in a way that was easy to follow for young readers. I will say at times that story was predictable but that did not detract from my enjoyment and I really think it would be a pleasure for young readers.
Agatha and Sophie are archatypes for good and evil but Chainani was able to flesh them out and make them people who I actually cared about. Admittedly, I did find Sophie annoying through a large chunk of the book though.
Parental warnings for violence and creepy scenes. I would recommend this book for ages 9 and up.
Will I Continue? Absolutely, I almost picked up the next book immediately but I had a few other things that I wanted to finish before the beginning of the year.
Let me know if you have read and enjoyed the series. What are your thoughts on where the series went. Let’s chat in the comments.