Book review: Beast

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Author:Donna Jo Napoli
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 12 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 12 and up
Genre:fairy tale
Year of publication:2000

Beast is the story of how Beast (from the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast) got to be who he was in the original story. It is based in Persia, and Beast starts out as Prince Orasmyn.

I enjoyed reading this book very much, for many reasons. One is because at first I was very confused about how Persia, Prince Orasmyn, and all the other things had to do with Beauty and The Beast at all, but it ended up making perfect sense, with the same happy ending and everything. I also thought that it was very cool how the Beast used lots of real Persian words in the story.

In the story, Beast feels many emotions very strongly; in some parts he is extremely happy and in other parts he's so sad he almost kills himself, and I liked that very much and feel that they made the story more exciting.

I found this book slow going at the beginning, but even if you start to think it is a boring book, I recommend that you keep on reading -- it ends up being a very wonderful book.

-- Fizzy, age 11

Notes to parents:

  • There is a description of lions mating and some other content that Fizzy thought some might find "inappropriate" for some young readers.
  • Napoli's take on the Frog Prince from the prince's perspective is similar to Beast in that it helps the reader empathize with the prince in his froggy embodiment. However, The Prince of the Pond, Otherwise Known as De Fawg Pin although quite sophisticated in theme, is probably appropriate for younger readers than Beast.

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this book!: Beast

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