The Palace Library ★☆☆☆☆

16284783It’s pretty much Narnia, and I don’t feel like it’s good Narnia.

Three children stumble upon an extraordinary library in an old house. Armed with magical books, and accompanied by an enchanting deerhound, they leave through a door that takes them to a world in the past.

Beyond the door, a kingdom is in crisis. The Great Sword of State has been stolen and destroyed. The Queen reveals an ancient prophecy that says only children can replace the Sword and she sends them on a journey that takes them beyond the world’s end.

The children must unlock the secrets in their books as they face storms, fight traitors and tackle dragons. Without knowing who they can n trust, can they succeed?


One of my favorite quotes about children’s literature comes from C.S. Lewis. He says, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

I think this book is really missing a good editor. It has potential. I wouldn’t have requested it if it didn’t sound interesting, but it just wasn’t written well and it felt too targeted.

The tricky thing about children’s literature is that you don’t want to sound like you’re writing for children and the writing in The Palace Library felt just like that. Sentences were too simple, things that were special had way too much attention drawn too them, and, of course, it was the youngest child who knew the most instantly about this crazy world within the wall.

It just didn’t feel like Steven Loveridge really knew how to write for children. Writing for children also means writing for adults and I, an adult though some deny it, didn’t feel included in the story.

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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