Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling - OPTIONAL

The Ickabog
 by J.K. Rowling
, 274 pages. Scholastic, 2020. $27. 

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content PG; Violence: PG 



In the happy kingdom of Cornucopia, all was well until a monster known as the Ickabog was reportedly seen. According to myth, the monster is as tall as two horses with eyes like glowing balls of fire, and long razor-sharp claws. Some believe in the Ickabog and some don’t, but fear of the monster changes the kingdom in horrible ways. Two children try to unravel the truth behind the Ickabog to help their country. 

 I am just not sure who the audience is for this book. It’s written like a bedtime story, and I wanted to like it. However, it is fairly horrifying, unless you are immune to murder and child abuse. Children’s parents are murdered or dragged off to prison and citizens are forced to do awful things or lose loved ones, even though the citizens may be killed anyway because they know too much. Children are abused and dying of starvation in an orphanage. The ending doesn’t make up for all the broken lives along the way. Even though it is told in a fairytale sort of format, I think it would give little children nightmares and older children would find it too childish. There are illustrations made by children from an illustration competition, which was a nice touch. I miss the charm and humor of the Harry Potter books. 

 Michelle in the Middle  

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