Bulldog Library

The Neverending Story

on June 9, 2014

FIC Ende    •    Fantasy

Jacket.aspxBastian Balthazar Bux is a pudgy young boy who is bullied at school and mostly ignored at home.  He finds solace from his hardships and escape from his troubles through reading.  Reading is his great joy.

One fortuitous day, Bastian takes shelter in bookstore.  In the store, he sees a book covered in copper silk and emblazoned with the symbol of two snakes biting each other’s tales.  He knows that he must read this book.  So, when the shop owner is not looking, Bastian steals the book.  Little does Bastian suspect that what he has taken is far more than a mere book.  Contained with in the covers of The Neverending Story, lays a whole world: Fantastica.

Fantastica is in dire trouble.  A great nothing is ravaging the land.  Atreyu, a young hunter is chosen by the Childlike Empress to embark on a dangerous mission to learn how to stop the nothing.  He is Fantastica’s only hope.

This book is a must read for anyone who has loved the classic movie adaptation of The Neverending Story.  It begins with the familiar story of Bastian and Atreyu, but it delves far deeper into Bastian’s adventures in Fantastica than the limited movie format allows.  The movie focuses on Atreyu’s journey through Fantastica and only briefly says that Bastian had many adventures in Fantastica.  The book also tells Atreyu’s story; however, the majority of the book focuses on Bastian’s adventures after he has saved the Childlike Empress.  If you have loved the movie, you owe it to yourself to read the rest of the story.  It is every bit as filled with fantasy and wonder as is Atreyu’s adventure.

As with Howl’s Moving CastleThe Neverending Story is a fantasy book that is rated for teen readers; however, there is no romance or violence, and there is only one swear word.  This is a more complex novel than most tween books, but a mature tween reader who loves the fantasy genre may find The Neverending Story to be a perfect fit.

Interest Level:  grades 9-12  •  Lexile: 930L  •  AR: 5.9

Ende, M. (1997). The Neverending Story.  New York, NY: Puffin Books.

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