Book Review: The Death Defying Pepper Roux

by Melissa on June 29, 2010 · 0 comments

in 9-12, ATOS 6.0-6.9, Adventure, Good book for boys, Lexile 900-999

Title: The Death Defying Pepper Roux
Series: No
Publisher: HarperCollins
Author: Geraldine McCaughrean
Age Range: 9-12
Lexile: [?] 920L
AR Level: [?] 6.4
Formats: book, ebook, audio
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Parents rate this book:
VN:F [1.9.0_1079]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)


“Pepper’s fourteenth birthday is a momentous one.

It’s the day he’s supposed to die.

Everyone seems resigned to it—even Pepper, although he would much prefer to live. But can you sidestep Fate? Jump sideways into a different life? Naïve and trusting, Pepper sets a course through dangerous waters, inviting disaster and mayhem at every turn, one eye on the sky for fear of angels, one on the magnificent possibilities of being alive. “


A disturbing premise, but an intrepid hero who has an interesting story. Some significant content to be aware of-likely not a good fit for kids under age 11, and a mature 11 at that.


Sweary words written as ‘?#@*&’
Level 1,2 [?]

Sexual Content

‘He spent all his money on whores.’ A priest asks Pepper if he has had any ‘unclean thoughts’, later a mention of seeing a woman in her negligee. Word use: whorehouses


A father serves his child rum neat. His father gets so drunk he  passes out. Multiple instances of people drinking, rum and wine being served. Pepper sees that his father is an ‘alcoholic captain’. A child sneaks drugs out of a medicine cabinet at a hospital.


Pepper shoots at inanimate objects with his father’s pistol. A grownup scares and hurts a child.


Family assumes Pepper is going to die and that is the environment around their interaction with him.


A woman tells Pepper’s mother, at his birth, that it it ‘the Lord’s will’ and that `Saint Constance told me in a dream last night’ that he would be dead at the age of fourteen. Death is described as ‘riding on a white horse, under a black banner or preceeded by a pillar of fire.’ Pepper makes things up to confess to the villiage priest and thinks he will go to Hell if he dies without confessing. ’souls of the damned’, saying masses, ’suicide is a sin’.

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Book Review: The Death Defying Pepper Roux, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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