Book Review: The Merchant of Death

by Melissa on January 1, 2010 · 0 comments

in 9-12, ATOS 5.0-5.9, Adventure, Fantasy, Lexile 600-699, Part of a series or set

Title: The Merchant of Death
Series:Pendragon, Book 1
Publisher: Aladdin
Author:D. J. MacHale
Lexile: [?] 660L
ATOS Level: [?] 5.0
Parent Rating:
VN:F [1.9.0_1079]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Pause For Ages: 9-12


Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. However, there is something very special about Bobby. He is going to save the world.


I’m surprised the age range is so low for this book.  There is quite a bit of language and some fairly mature (teen) level sexual content.  This is better for 12+.


Level 1 and 2 [?]

Sexual Content

Teen boy kisses teen girl, fairly descriptive. Long physical description of girl. Boy ‘makes out’ with girl. Boys discuss Pamela Anderson’s ‘before and after’ cosmetic surgery. Mention of Playboy magazine. Boys brag about getting to ‘first base’. Scantily-clad (‘thong’) girls on posters in boy’s room. ‘…she’ll think I was some kind of perv, watching her from the bushes.’


Teen smokes cigarette.


Guns, spears, arrows used against people. Man hit by a train, ’sickening thud’. Quite a bit of description of animals killing and eating people,including a man being killed by an animal in the coliseum. Beast explodes. Ick. Villagers are tortured and starved by soldiers, babies die. Girl held hostage with knife at her throat, boy threatened.


Kid is bullied-threatened and physically hurt. Kids defined as nerds, dweebs. Coarse description of overweight woman ‘gordo’ , ‘doughy’, ‘fatso’.


‘evil intensity’ Historical reference to Christians being fed to lions.

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