The School for Good and Evil (School for Good and Evil Series #1) by Soman Chainani, Iacopo Bruno |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The School for Good and Evil (School for Good and Evil Series #1)

The School for Good and Evil (School for Good and Evil Series #1)

4.4 348
by Soman Chainani, Iacopo Bruno
     
 

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The New York Times bestselling The School for Good and Evil, the first book in the series, is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one. This paperback edition features an Extras section, giving readers a chance to see which school they'd be in and a Q&A with the author, Soman

Overview

The New York Times bestselling The School for Good and Evil, the first book in the series, is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one. This paperback edition features an Extras section, giving readers a chance to see which school they'd be in and a Q&A with the author, Soman Chainani.

With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.

The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed—Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.

But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
“[A] whip-smart debut...If I could bewitch you all to read it, I would. Grade: A.”
Maria Tatar
“Chainani takes the racing energy of Roald Dahl’s language and combines it with the existential intensity of J.K. Rowling’s plots to create his own universe. THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL uses the sorcery of words and the poetry of friendship to startle, enchant, and keep us turning pages.”
Gregory Maguire
Invention in overdrive…The School for Good and Evil is a comedic education by a writer primed to shoot to the head of the class.
R. L. Stine
“Wow. From the very first sentence, you know you’re entering a thrilling world of strange fantasy... A wild and dangerous fairy tale ride. I loved this book.”
Ann M. Martin
“A fairy tale like no other, complete with romance, magic, humor, and a riddle that will keep you turning pages until the end.”
David Magee
“Chainani has imagined the world where fairy tales come to life, where for every fairy princess with a ‘Happily Ever After’ in her future there is a villain with a tragic fate in store. But in The School for Good and Evil it’s not always certain which is which.”
Tor Seidler
“In Chainani’s richly imagined world the action never lets up for a nano-second. Young readers won’t be able to stop turning the pages till they reach the surprising and satisfying conclusion.”
Publishers Weekly
At first glance, Chainani's debut appears to resemble the trend-following herd. There's the secret school that sorts its students into apparently predestined categories, courtesy of J.K. Rowling. There's the knowing, slightly shocking narration, full of farts and greasy hair, borrowed from Roald Dahl via Lemony Snicket. But Chainani's story gradually takes on dimension. Sophie and Agatha are plucked from their hometown of Gavaldon, where children are voracious readers of fairy tales. A skeletal bird drops them at the School for Good and Evil, populated by the living embodiments of these tales—princesses, princes, and villains in training. The girls soon discover, however, that these fledgling stereotypes have never read the stories. Sophie and Agatha are the only "Readers" in their class—shunned, mocked, but also feared. While the notion that conventions of good and evil don't tell the whole truth is hardly new, exploring the middle ground moves Chainani's novel out of its own ruts and, in the process, shows readers a hyperactively imaginative way to leave black-and-white thinking behind. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jane Startz, Jane Startz Productions. (May)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Most girls do not expect to be kidnapped, much less anticipate it. But Sophie is not like most girls, and she has been planning for this day for some time. Every four years, two children disappear from her village of Gavaldon. Later, the children can be seen in the pages of the fairy tale books that mysteriously appear on the doorstep of the bookseller—one as a good character and one as a bad. Sophie is determined to go whether those children go and to claim "her" rightful place as a fairy tale princess. After all, Sophie is the prettiest and best person she knows. The role of "evil," she believes, can be filled by her peer, Agatha. Growing up ugly in a cemetery practically assures it. The kidnapping, however, does not go as Sophie expects. She finds herself in the "Evil" school, while Agatha ends up in "Good"! Has the world gone mad? What is the mysterious Story Master thinking? Who is he, and what is his ultimate goal in all of this? Most importantly, will Sophie be able to win the handsome Prince Tedros (son of King Arthur) in spite of their different schools, and secure her fairy tale "happily ever after"? What will it mean if either girl fails in the school to which she has been assigned? Will Agatha find a way for them to return home? Word on the street is that the only way "out" of school is through the story, and animosity is brewing between the schools. Will they even survive? Stories based on fairy tales have experienced a revival, but Chainani is a unique spin on the idea. The setting is completely new, the challenges dire, and the characters well-developed. It is no wonder this book has been a New York Times bestseller. This is the first book in a trilogy. Do not miss the "Are You an Ever or a Never" quiz on the publisher's website. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Every four years in the village of Gavaldon, two children are stolen away by a mysterious person known only as the Schoolmaster. These children become students at the School for Good and Evil. One will be taught the ways of goodness, honor, and beauty; the other will be instructed in the ways of darkness and villainy. Twelve-year-old Sophie just knows she's destined to be picked for the school of Good this year, and can't wait to assume the role of a princess and meet her Prince Charming. Her best friend, Agatha, is surely villain material with her dumpy looks, black clothes, and dour demeanor. So how is it that Sophie winds up in the School for Evil and Agatha the School for Good? Now both girls must work to succeed in their new roles or face dire consequences. The girls' friendship will be put to the test in ways they never imagined. This debut fantasy will attract sophisticated readers with a love of fairy tales, particularly the dark side of them. Despite some redundant scenes and pacing issues, there's plenty of action and emotion to keep an audience well entertained. Fans of Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm (Dutton, 2010) and Shannon and Dean Hale's graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge (Bloomsbury, 2008) will be swept along in this wild story of good, evil, and two friends caught in between.—Stephanie Whelan, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Chainani works an elaborate sea change akin to Gregory Maguire's Wicked (1995), though he leaves the waters muddied. Every four years, two children, one regarded as particularly nice and the other particularly nasty, are snatched from the village of Gavaldon by the shadowy School Master to attend the divided titular school. Those who survive to graduate become major or minor characters in fairy tales. When it happens to sweet, Disney princess–like Sophie and her friend Agatha, plain of features, sour of disposition and low of self-esteem, they are both horrified to discover that they've been dropped not where they expect but at Evil and at Good respectively. Gradually--too gradually, as the author strings out hundreds of pages of Hogwarts-style pranks, classroom mishaps and competitions both academic and romantic--it becomes clear that the placement wasn't a mistake at all. Growing into their true natures amid revelations and marked physical changes, the two spark escalating rivalry between the wings of the school. This leads up to a vicious climactic fight that sees Good and Evil repeatedly switching sides. At this point, readers are likely to feel suddenly left behind, as, thanks to summary deus ex machina resolutions, everything turns out swell(ish). Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062104908
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Series:
School for Good and Evil Series, #1
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
30,997
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

Gregory Maguire

Invention in overdrive…The School for Good and Evil is a comedic education by a writer primed to shoot to the head of the class.

Meet the Author

Soman Chainani’s first novel, The School for Good and Evil, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, as did each of its two sequels, A World Without Princes and The Last Ever After. The series has been translated into over twenty languages across six continents and will soon be a major motion picture from Universal Pictures.

As a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, Soman has made films that have played at over 150 festivals around the world, and his writing awards include the Sun Valley Writers’ Fellowship.

When he’s not telling stories or teaching in New York City, Soman is a die-hard tennis player who never lost a first-round match for ten years . . . until he started writing The School for Good and Evil. Now he loses all the time.

You can visit Soman at www.somanchainani.net.

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