Far, Far Away is a Stand Alone-YAY!!!
One day, Jeremy meets Ginger, a spunky classmate, and the two of them and Jacob get involved into a bit of trouble.
The Good News
Jacob Grimm is the ghost of one of the Grimm brothers and their tales run rampant throughout the book. It is a good story to introduce tweens/teens to the Grimm tales especially the ones who are all hopped up on the Disney fairy-tales.
The story is told by Jacob and he has a “sit back and let me tell you a story” sort of voice. It’s very calming. But in true Grimm fashion, it turns very dark.
- There is a villain and McNeal holds nothing back. I love this because if you are going to have a villain, don’t sprinkle sugar all over him; make his truly evil.
- All of the characters are likable. There are a couple of the run-of-the-mill characters such as: a flirtatious girl and her cronies and a bully but they aren’t stereotypical.
- The story was a bit predicable but I felt like McNeal knew this and added twists.
- This is a VERY good discussion book for 5th-12th grade. It can be fun trying to find all the Grimm tale references and morals to stories.
The Bad News (nit-picking)
- You don’t learn Jeremy’s age until page 141. It’s hard to picture the characters when you don’t know how old they are.
- It says that they are in America but they say university instead of college and they have a vocabulary class. That doesn’t sound like America to me.
- Jacob could’ve left Jeremy earlier. (You’ll have to read it to find out. I don’t want to spoil it.)
- It dragged a bit in the middle.
It was an interesting take on Grimm. It wasn’t particularly deep but it had enough for a good dialogue.
Book Clubs for Tweens/Teens-
Please stop reading if you don’t want to see spoilers!!!
I do this b/c I am a librarian that runs a book discussion group for 5th-7th grade. Parents of younger teens are expecting librarians to pick clean books and it is helpful to know if the book is okay for middle school. Otherwise, I am all for Intellectual Freedom.
- No language
- There are a couple of reference to Ginger’s attractiveness and some subtle references to sleeping over one’s house.
- Appropriate for 5th grade but not too simple for high school