Family Book Club: The School for Good and Evil
Reading level: teen—the series starts in middle grade but moves into young adult
Synopsis: All Agatha has ever wanted is to live a quiet life in her graveyard house with her cat and best friend, Sophie. All Sophie has ever wanted is to be a princess. To become a princess in the town where the two girls live, you must be kidnapped by the School Master and taken to the School of Good and Evil, an infamous academy that teaches children how to be princes, princesses, witches, and henchmen. Sophie's plan is to be kidnapped. And she succeeds, but not without a hitch—Agatha gets taken with her. And when they arrive, it isn't Sophie who gets placed in the School for Good, it's Agatha. Sophie lands in the School for Evil. The two girls try everything to right this wrong, but as they take their classes, participate in contests, and develop feelings for other students, it becomes clear that students can't switch sides—and that maybe Sophie is in the right house after all.
Categories: folklore, feminist, body positivity, friendship
- Which of the girls, Sophie or Agatha, do you relate to more? Why?
- In the School for Good, Agatha is immediately labeled an outcast because she doesn't look the part of a princess. Have you ever felt like your looks influenced the way people have treated you?
- In the School for Evil, Sophie feels like an outcast because all of her real interests—fashion, skin care, cosmetology—are looked down upon—until she finds a way to show her classmates that her interests apply to them as well. What are some of your interests that you want to share with your friends? How do you think you can make those interests engaging for other people?
- Agatha quickly gets fed up with the gender norms in her school—the way boys are taught to fight and protects and girls are taught to dress well catch a boy's attention. What are some gender norms you've noticed in your life?
- Did you like the way the book ended? Why or why not?
Activity: The School for Good and Evil series has its own website! You can take different quizzes, try your hand at surviving in the Blue Forest, and search the site for pieces to a puzzle. If you think you've really got what it takes to be Good or Evil, you can enroll and take the entrance exam.