The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy: First Edition

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy: First Edition

4.0 7
by Nikki Loftin
     
 

Spooky twists and soaring prose make this foodie update on Hansel and Gretel an unforgettable must-read

Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy—Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei's favorite foods. But the more time

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Overview

Spooky twists and soaring prose make this foodie update on Hansel and Gretel an unforgettable must-read

Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy—Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei's favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?

It's up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones—and might even pick them clean!

Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you've got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Loftin debuts with a smart, fresh, and thoroughly modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Nothing is going right for 11-year-old Lorelei Robinson. Her mother’s death has torn her family apart, her father has married a woman who doesn’t like kids, and her school just burned down. Good thing a shiny new school popped up over the weekend, and it’s awesome: there are all-you-can-eat meals, endless bowls of candy on the desks, a playground to die for—and students only attend classes when they want. Lorelei’s new friend Andrew is sure there’s something suspicious about the way the students can’t stop eating (his own weight issues have taught him food awareness), and Lorelei soon comes to agree. The darkness that Loftin layers over her story makes this a mesmerizing read, though some grisly details may be too much for sensitive readers. By incorporating real problems that children face—the death of a parent, peer pressure, bullying, obesity, and learning disabilities—Loftin anchors her characters and creates a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new. Ages 8–12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary and Media. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"A mesmerizing read. . . . a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new."—Publishers Weekly

"An irresistible contemporary fairy tale. . . . Deliciously scary and satisfying."—Kirkus

"A wickedly intriguing, deliciously eerie read." —New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith — Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kirkus Reviews
A pinch of Grimm, a dash of Greek mythology and a heaping helping of fresh chills make for an irresistible contemporary fairy tale centering around a food enchantment. A sparkling new school pops up in Lorelei's neighborhood, and events conspire to make her and her brother enroll. Not that they resist--Splendid Academy has the most phenomenal playground they've ever seen, and Principal Trapp lets the kids run in the halls. As icing on the cake, food's provided constantly, especially desserts. Everyone's desk contains a magically refilling candy bowl, and the lunches and (oddly non-optional) breakfasts are succulent feasts. Rules barely exist; teachers balk only when a student doesn't eat enough. Even at home, Lorelei awakens with "a sick, twisting hunger that felt like teeth chewing at my insides." Readers familiar with "Hansel and Gretel" will smell the reason why these teachers push food. Lorelei is smart, but two obstacles block her: knowledge that "there [i]sn't an adult in the world who would believe" the preposterous truth at the school's core, and emotional baggage from her mother's death a year ago. In clear, accessible prose with a sense of immediacy, Loftin smoothly melds Lorelei's conviction that she's "done something unforgivably evil" with the deadly danger hovering at school. Refreshingly, Lorelei's learning disability (dysgraphia) is simply a fact of life, not a literary symbol. Deliciously scary and satisfying. (Fantasy. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595145086
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
08/21/2012
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.06(d)
Lexile:
560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Nikki Loftin is a writer and native Texan who lives just outside Austin, Texas, with her two boys, two dogs, nine chickens, and one very patient husband. The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is her first novel.

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