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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in the “Whatever After” series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Ten-year-old Abby and her 7-year-old brother, Jonah, have just moved to a new city called Smithville. Abby struggles to adjust to a place where everything is different and new. One night, her brother reports seeing strange things in the creepy basement mirror left by the former owners. The kids knock on the mirror and are pulled inside.

They find themselves in a forest and follow an old woman to a cottage. The old woman knocks on the door, but the frightened teenage girl inside doesn’t want to let her in. The old woman makes several attempts to give the girl an apple, but Abby and Jonah’s intrusion finally causes her to leave.

The nervous girl lets Abby and Jonah inside, where there see a tiny table set for eight. They learn the girl’s name is Snow and that she’s staying with friends since the queen, Evil Evelyn, is trying to kill her. Abby and Jonah finally realize they are in Snow White’s fairy tale. They also discover that by keeping Snow from eating the apple, they ruined her chances of dying, being entombed in the forest and being saved by the kiss of a handsome prince.

The kids determine that a day in this fairy tale equals about an hour back home. That gives them six fairy tale days before their parents will wake up and discover they’re gone. They vow to fix Snow’s story so she can enjoy her rightful future.

First, they wait for the evil queen, expecting she will return to the cottage and try her poisoning scheme again. She comes back the next day, but she doesn’t attempt to poison Snow. She tries to kill her another way, and the kids thwart her efforts.

The following day, the kids have Snow lie in a box in the woods. They hope it will appear she is lying dead in a coffin, as her story says. Perhaps then, the prince will come by and save her. The prince never arrives, and they learn the queen has locked Prince Trevor in the dungeon. The queen’s huntsman, who was supposed to kill Snow but spared her life, is also imprisoned there.

Abby and Jonah’s time is growing shorter. They need to find a way back home through a mirror, but the only magic mirror around belongs to the queen. With Snow’s help, they sneak into the castle and talk to the queen’s mirror. The mirror says she will help them get home, but they have to go right then. Otherwise, the queen will discover them. Abby refuses to leave until she has righted her wrong and fixed Snow’s story. When the queen returns home, Abby, Jonah and Snow escape out the palace window.

They return to the castle later that day. Sneaking into the sleeping queen’s room, they steal her key to the dungeon. The magic mirror also helps them find Snow’s father’s will. At the dungeon, they free the huntsman and the prince. The queen catches them all escaping and orders the guards to lock them up.

The kids pull out the king’s will, which states Snow White is the rightful queen. The guards turn on Evil Evelyn, but not before she can shoot an arrow at Snow. The prince jumps in front of Snow, taking the arrow for her. He falls into the crocodile-infested mote.

The dwarves show up and throw stew sandwiches into the water. The crocodiles eat those instead of the prince. The kids and dwarves get the prince out of the water and pull out the arrow, but he isn’t breathing.

Snow gives him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. When the prince awakens, he asks her to marry him. While she clearly likes him, she says she’s not looking for a serious relationship yet. She needs to focus on her queenly duties, and she is only 16. He says he understands and asks her out to dinner. They decide to take things slowly.

Snow invites the dwarves to live with her in the palace. She takes Abby and Jonah back to the mirror, and the mirror returns them to their basement. They’re excited to be home, and Snow gets a happy ending, even though it is different from her original story.

Abby realizes that she, too, can find happiness in her new hometown, even though it is different from her old one. As she gets ready for school, she hears the mirror calling her name. She goes back downstairs later that night to find out why.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

None

Authority Roles

Evil Evelyn disguises herself and attempts to kill her stepdaughter a number of times. Prince Trevor jumps in front of an arrow meant for Snow, saving her life. When Snow receives her rightful inheritance as queen, she provides a home in the palace for the dwarves.

Profanity/Violence

The word butt appears a few times.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Snow White appears to kiss the prince, but she’s actually giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Lying: The kids lie to get into the castle.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

8 to 14

Author

Sarah Mlynowski

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Scholastic Inc.

Released

On Video

Year Published

2013

Awards

Unknown

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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