Prince Andy & the Misfits: Shadow Man - Review
to reviews for ages 14+>
Gammons, Karen. (2011). Prince
Andy and the Misfits: Shadow Man. Mustang, OK: Tate
Publishing. ISBN 10-9781616636197. Litland.com
recommends 14+, appropriate for younger advanced
Andy thought he was just an average sixteen-year-old
kid... But one day his world is completely turned upside
down as he learns the unbelievable truth of his
identity: he is the prince of a faraway kingdom called
Filligrim in the Valley of the Misfits a magical place
where pixies, elves, wizards, and dragons are just as
likely to be inhabitants as humans. He was brought to
this world following his birth the only way to keep him
from being murdered by his evil malicious grandfather.
Sounding more like a fairytale than reality, Andy at
first thinks he must be dreaming. But then his aunt
Gladdy reveals even more astonishing news: his mother,
the Queen of the Misfits, is in trouble; she's been
captured by goblins, and it's up to Andy to rescue her.
Still in shock, he makes a decision that will forever
alter life as he's known it. He will return to Filligrim
and, with the help of six heroic Misfits, will embark on
a mission to save the kingdom from the clutches of evil.
In Prince Andy and the Misfits: Shadow Man, Andy
encounters one adventure after another as he works to
uncover a traitor, rescue the queen from goblins,
retrieve a stone of immense power, and solve the mystery
surrounding the Shadow Man the sinister mastermind
behind it all. And perhaps most importantly, he must
ultimately discover if he has the heart to become a true
Respect for self and others: This
includes integrity (adherence to a code of
conduct or value system), honesty vs. manipulation or
lying, compassion, caring for others (characters not
focused on getting their way no matter what) self
respect--main character does not let others
denigrate him or her; use of self control and
self-discipline ; taking charge of own behaviour;
fairness to others (such as taking turns and
avoiding the blame game). Reader should ask themselves
“How does the protagonist depict their peers?” “Would
you want others to treat you this way? Should everyone
act this way?” This includes true friendships
that do not involve regular lying, deceit or
manipulation; considering consequences of actions
prior to acting; owning up to responsibility once
an action has been taken.
Respect and integrity are central to this story.
Self-talk and dialogue demonstrate characters who “walk
the talk”, risking their own lives to do “the right
thing”, so moral integrity is prominent but not preachy
in presentation. Respect for others is also continuously
demonstrated. For example, Andy dislikes Kwagar but
tries to get to know him rather than mistreating him.
Andy acts inclusively and with sincerity, not with any
self-serving motives. He demonstrates a good example of
how to treat another peer when you don’t hit it off with
them. In other scenes, we see characters apologizing
for their mistakes. And Mystic ponders her broken
friendship with Gladdy.
Prince Andy also is outward focused rather than
self-centered, thinking of all that others have done for
him “many lives had been put on hold for his sake. He
hoped to one day make it up to them”. A sense of
responsibility as his Brother’s Keeper rings true.
Portrayal of Authority
figures: The positive portrayal of parents, teachers, police officers and other “good” authority figures common in a child’s life is a positive influence upon the child’s own moral development. This includes
actively-parenting mother and father figures. Minimization of parental involvement in the character’s activities or the portrayal of authority figures as
inferior present poor role models. Also to be avoided are main characters that
deceive parents and teachers to accomplish goals, and overuse
sarcasm towards authority figures. Ask yourself “Are parents seen as positive or negative influence in the character's life?”
the prince, Andy has every opportunity to boss around
his guards, servants and elders. However, just as his
followers show respect to him as Prince, he shows
respect to all elders. He never acts more knowledgeable
or tries to assert superiority over them. Hierarchy in
family and kingdom is prominent throughout the story and
realistically portrayed. Elements of leadership
underlie the storyline. As for authority within the
family, Prince Andy respects and obeys his Aunt Gladdy
even when in doubt; shows respect in addressing her.
Never whines or argues.
Patriotism: Loyalty to family, team or group, school, community and world; caring for and being considerate of these
groups. Pride to be part of that group or nationality.
Well, certainly there would be no story if the
characters were not loyal to their royal family and
preserving their kingdom! Defence of their country is
the purpose to their adventure. This is adequately
portrayed throughout the story, and contrasted with the
lack of loyalty of the goblin prince to his father, the
king. We also see Prince Andy’s loyalty to his own
family, such as being worried about meeting his
mother...would there be room in his heart for both of
them (mother and aunt)? He recognizes Aunt Gladdy gave
up everything to raise him.
Secondarily, obedience is shown in honoring the arranged
marriages: Elsfur is betrothed to another and committed
to honoring his family’s plans for him.
Brotherhood is solid amongst the misfits including Andy.
The contrasts noted above distinguish clearly good vs. evil. Sufficient emphasis is placed on negative behaviours and attitudes as needed to add depth and intrigue to the story, while virtuous behaviour is the clear choice of action to take. Justification is given for acts such as beheading, and it causes Andy to vomit, further reinforcing that killing is not glory. A good ol’ fashioned tale of chivalry and honor.
Justice and Balance: A just distribution between good and evil (with
good outweighing evil in the presence of the storyline);
demonstration of right and wrong; making decisions to enact the above values rather than simply choosing from two bad possibilities; Ask yourself “Is the emphasis on the positive elements or negative?”
Aesthetic aspects Of
life ExperienceLook for a storyline portrayal of
beauty, health, and selfless love vs. hedonistic behaviours (sexuality, selfishness, obsessiveness, materialism),
profanity, gore and violence. Are nature and environment respected or exploited? Look for
dark elements; watch out for humor that is negative, denigrates others excessively, uses metaphors to
denigrate the sacred.
The author’s casual
writing style invites readers of all ages into the
Kingdom of Filligrim while being sufficiently rich in
description to maintain attention too. The Enchanted
Kingdom is...enchanting! The description of the yellow
woods places us center into the magic of the experience.
And scenes are quick paced so we feel in the scene
without it being drawn on endlessly.
Subtle humour occurs
throughout adding to the story’s fun. Example, likeable
characters named Snollygob, comments like “Andy not only
got a good look at him, but he smelled him as well”, and
characters who like to be...gross.
Finally, elements of suspense hold our interest too.
Will Kwagar end up to be a trustworthy comrade? Does he
have special powers unbeknownst to others? Who is the
traitor? And who are the real enemies? The story ends in
a cliffhanger as we are introduced to the Shadow Man.
Other things to
Consider:Other aspects of this book of interest or importance. For example, does it portray Wiccan practices and accurate use of tools of which some parents might object, does it contain
hidden meanings in metaphors that may prove offensive to some families; does it address
personal issues such as puberty or pregnancy.
Some action sequences such as beheading opponents exist,
although kept to a minimum and well explained. Overall
book demonstrates exemplary behaviour with realistic
flaws, as told in an intriguing tale.
So what do YOU think? Read our thoughts on the book and join in the discussion:
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