Marabel and the Book of Fate
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published in France by Bayard Presse
An Okra Pick (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance)
Spring 2018 Kids' Indie Next List
Take a quiz from Girls' Life to find out if you, too, are a heroine princess!
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Remarkably timely with its exploration of feminism and social justice, this fantasy title empowers as much as it entertains. . . . Marabel’s journey helps her realize she’s more than an overshadowed sibling and that outsiders may not be the strangers she’s always feared. By acknowledging her strengths and accepting her weaknesses, she is able to rescue her brother and unite the kingdoms through working alongside those who previously opposed her. . . . This subversive hero’s quest champions the concepts of gender equality and embracing differences while also delivering an engrossing, laugh-filled adventure.
As with her other endeavors, Barrett ably gives the genre a good tweak and skewers traditional expectations . . . Funny and exciting, Marabel and the Book of Fate is a hit.
On the surface, Marabel and the Book of Fate is a thrilling adventure story about a sister who wants to save her brother. But the underlying message of the book is what makes Marabel’s story spectacular. Throughout this whimsical, thoroughly contemporary fairy tale, Barrett inspires young readers to consider the importance of social acceptance, free will, and leadership—and the value of examining their own social norms. Against the backdrop of adventure, she empowers readers to challenge oppression and systemic injustice. Marabel and the Book of Fate is a strong opening to an exciting new series.
Though this novel often pokes fun at traditional fairy tales, it makes its strongest points about not being satisfied with the status quo. Marabel doesn’t question the Book of Fate or the wisdom of her father and his kingdom, until she goes to another land and sees how the other side lives. Strong themes of questioning what’s always been considered a given, and being open to another way of seeing things make this book stand out, while its general plot of “princess saving someone else” and “kid finding out she’s actually not as ‘normal’ as she thought” makes this a neat addition to any fantasy-fan’s library.
[A] series opener that pits fate against free will, touches on prejudice and patriarchy, and has fun with fairy tale tropes.
Marabel treks across kingdoms to find her brother, a journey that teaches her about friendship and fate, good and evil, and that sometimes a different perspective can help you save the day. For fans of humorous fairy tale classics like Ella Enchanted, and for anyone who is tired of waiting around for their day in the sun.
[O]ne of those writers that can tap into younger fantasy worlds with skill and aplomb.
Elizabeth Bird, Fuse #8 (SLJ)
Young readers will enjoy the modern day references, such as a video game called “Impcraft” and bracelets that accept phone calls that are mixed with common fairy tale themes.
School Library Connection
The scariness was just the right amount and it was perfect in all ways. My favorite part of this book was how brave Marabel was to go on a journey to save her brother. Especially since his being gone could have meant that she would become the leader. Such courage! Such bravery!
"Emmie Enchanted" (8-year-old blogger at Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them)