Lexile: 760LGenre: FantasySetting: Mythical kingdomMain Character: Zelie, a young girl who lost her mother and family’s magicPage Numbers: 525
What drew me in:
I saw this book on Instagram when it came out and have heard it featured on some podcasts since. The basic premise–a tribal-esque epic fantasy–sounded amazing! I already love fantasy, but the added twist really piqued my interest. It sounded like a perfect way to get more fantasy and more diverse literature into my classroom library. The story follows the main character Zelie who should have inherited her mother’s magic. The magic-fearing king, however, has wiped out magic’s source and murdered those who once had it–including Zelie’s mother. Years later, it seems there may be hope for magic’s return, and that the gods have chosen Zelie, her brother, and the daughter of the tyrannical king to fight to win magic back.
What makes this literature LIT?
The world that Adeyemi has created is enthralling. The setting is almost-but-not-quite our Nigeria and is rich in mythology and folklore. I wanted to know how magic worked in this world just as badly as I wanted to know what was going to happen to Zelie and her companions. It definitely has an epic fantasy feel and will satisfy lovers of that genre.I have also found that any story in which the perspective changes helps to keep my students engaged. The story shifts between the main character Zelie–a fierce young woman who wants vengeance for her mother’s death–and members of the royal family, who are at fault for the class system and lack of magic in the world. With multiple points-of-view, the reader is left in suspense frequently!
Who do I recommend this to?
This is great for your real readers–the ones who love big books, love series, and like to “live” in the worlds that they read about. Anyone who is a fan of Harry Potter or Tolkien will love this book! Because this book features many strong women, this may be more popular with your female leaders. Although the size of the book looks intimidating, the Lexile level is a little low for high school. This could be great for students who want to challenge themselves, or readers who identify themselves as bookworms, but whose test scores are consistently a little lower than they should be.
What did you (or your students!) think of Children of Blood and Bone? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for other diverse literature? Check out I am J to expand your LGBTQ selection!