Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Book Review: Skulduggery Pleasant

By on May 20, 2008

I loved Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant.  Let me say it again: I loved this book.  It’s edgy, dark, and hilarious.  I haven’t read a vivid character like this is a long time.  Skulduggery is in one breath a rapscallion, a role-model, and a rogue. Picture Errol Flynn sans skin.

He exists in a universe that lives amongst our own, secretive and magical.  Stephanie Edgley, our mortal tween heroine, stumbles on the underlying magical epidermis in our society, and is lured into its upcoming war.  A Robin to his Batman, Stephanie becomes Skulduggery’s apprentice fighting by his side.  

Author Derek Landy taps into the everyday tween dream that beyond this world must lie one that “gets me”, a world in which the tween truly belongs.  Stephanie eventually learns that she belongs in both.

So what can I, the teacher, use it for?

This book inspires me to create literature circles next year that might be themed with narrative strategies.  What a fun first quarter it could be if one group were given Skulduggery Pleasant as a tool to study character and voice, another group could have Eoin Colfer’s Airman to study setting and plot structure, etc…

Either way, Skulduggery Pleasant has landed in my classroom library and is there to stay.  Enjoy at your own risk, for once you’ve learned about his world, you may find that you too belong in it as well.

Wave the banner of literacy and enjoy.

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