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Get it now on Searching for streaming and purchasing options A lot or a little? The parents' guide to what's in this book. Educational Value. Religious belief, myths, and legends from around the world are blended together to fashion a unique view of the afterlife. Readers will learn a bit about Irish beliefs about banshees and death and get acquainted with some key religious figures from other cultures, including Anubis Egypt , Nergal Mesopotamia , and Oya Yoruba. Positive Messages. Conor learns that sometimes we're only able to choose the least-awful option -- and often we don't have any choice at all.


Even when we have good friends to lean on, making choices can be terribly difficult. Still, being passive is even worse. Conor is timid but true to himself. He resists his grandfather's well-intentioned urging to loosen up and break some rules. Forced into a difficult position, he learns to exert whatever control he can and to live with the consequences. He lies about Ashling's true identify but for very good reasons; his grandfather is a troublemaker with a spotty record as a father, but his backstory helps put him in a good light.

Conor's parents are involved but somewhat distant: His mother is very busy with work and school, and his father is trying to push his son into following the path he wanted. Ashling recounts her death at the hands of raiders, who struck her in the head with an ax. Death, of course, is an ongoing theme. One main character dies, and there's brief discussion of the death of a child in a playground accident. Two characters kiss briefly. An uncle who drank beer and belched is briefly mentioned, and a peripheral character suffers emphysema after years of smoking.

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What parents need to know Parents need to know that in Texting the Underworld , it's a given that one of the central characters will die; the suspenseful question is who it will be. Love and inevitable loss are central themes. The blending of cultural beliefs about death, the afterlife, and reincarnation are sure to give children plenty of food for thought.

It's a comforting read, in the end, but it might be a difficult read for very sensitive kids. Continue reading Show less. Stay up to date on new reviews. Get full reviews, ratings, and advice delivered weekly to your inbox. User Reviews Parents say Kids say. There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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Choose Store. Skip this list. Ratings and Book Reviews 1 2 star ratings 1 reviews. I also introduce the idea that everyone is reincarnated, and that Ashling longs for a new human life. Texting the Underworld is infused with a lot of mythological elements as well What was the best or most fun part about writing Texting the Underworld? The hardest? Developing a multi-cultural underworld was probably the most fun—my death deities are paper-pushing bureaucrats, stuck in the same jobs for millennium after millennium with increasing numbers of us passing through.

By now, most of them are cranky or downright nuts. The hardest part was the resolution—I had to make the supernatural stuff work right while also making sure Conor was the master of his own fate. What's your favorite middle-grade book? Who are your favorite middle-grade hero and heroine?

My favorite hero continues to be Harry Potter—yes, the humor and wizardry is wonderful, but that marvelous, courageous, flawed kid is the reason the series soared as it did. That turns out to be the case for so many of us! Fill in the blanks:. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Texting the Underworld what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

Angel food with cream-cheese frosting and lemon pudding inside that would drip down your chin. Conor finds out the world is not what it seems to be—some of it is even scarier than he feared, but some of it is better.