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Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond to my question about Eldest.  
What an interesting mix of opinions!  This afternoon when I began to compose my HIT 
our server went down along with several responses that I had included in my email.  
For some reason they weren't saved in my deleted folder.  I am sorry that those 
comments are now floating somewhere in cyberspace.
Original Post:
Is there anyone out there who has read both Eragon and Eldest?  I have a 5th grade 
student who has read Eragon (loved it) and would like to read Eldest but the mom is 
concerned that this one is more of a middle school book.  We have Eragon (I was a 
bit on the fence about that one) but I decided not to purchase Eldest.

If a student has read Eragon is there any reason why Eldest might not be 
appropriate?  Or are they both about on the same level?  Should the parent have any 
reservations about letting her son read Eldest if he has already read Eragon?
Great series, can't keep them on the shelf. I highly recommend them.
That mother should be pleased her child wants to read. I read Eragon and am about 
to start Eldest so I can't actually speak to content. The reading level is high but 
that's not a bad thing.
It has been a while since I read Eragon but I read Eldest not long ago.    I don't 
think there is much difference in content between the two.  They both have battle 
scenes that are a bit intense for younger students but a mature 5th grader should 
be ok.  I think they see much worse on tv.
I have read them both, and they are about the same level. They do seem a little 
ambitious for fifth grade (I was reading the Narnia books at that age), but every 
child is different. If this child enjoyed Eragon, there's no reason Eldest would be 
inappropriate. There is more of a love interest, which may or may not interest the 
reader, but nothing of agraphic nature of any sort happens (it's more of an 
unrequited crush).
I'd be concerned. I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would reserve it for 
Middle School or a very mature reader. The kid could borrow it from the public 
library and the Mom could read it first.
I have not finished Eldest yet, but the 2nd book is a continuation of the 1st. 
Christopher Paoloni gets better as a writer but the content so far has not gotten 
"older".  Much more is explained about why Eragon was chosen. I do have both  of 
them in our library. They are always checked out and some students have even 
purchased it because they were tired of waiting.
I am about half-way through the Eldest and feel that it is not appropriate for my 
K-5 students.  I do have Eragon in the library, but am sending my copy of the 
Eldest to the middle school.  The language is even more complex than in Eragon, I 
have to keep a dictionary close by.  I feel that the subject matter leans more 
towards YA than a Juvenile audience.  Hope this helps.
Outside of the fact that the student has to be able to lift a hefty volume, I see 
no reason why someone who has enjoyed Eragon should not read Eldest. I find the 
reading levels very similar. 
A quick way to check for reviews is through Titlewave:  Its free and a wonderful, useful site.
I think they are both more of a middle school book. I would not have either of them 
in my K - 5 library due to the mature subject matter (battles, gore, etc). I loved 
them, but do not feel they belong in an elem. library.
I am in a collegial circle which is in the process of reviewing new YA books.  
Someone just read Eldest and loved it.  They gave it an 10/8. (10 is adult 
recommendation, 8 would be how the kids will receive it)
She beleived the audience would be age 12 to adult.
The sensitive issues were; some gore, bloody parts, (Ra'zac sucks all the flesh 
from people's bodies, leaving only the bones.) Graphic fights and wars.
The group reviewer was a seasoned 12 grade English teacher on the Eastern end of LI 
in NY.
I have read both.  The reading level of the second book is much higher than the 
first.  The author used words that I
had to look up the in dictionary.  If the student can read it.. subject wise it is 
not inappropriate.. as long as the parents have no problem with magic.  There are 
only a handful of kids in my 6-8 building who will be able to read the second book 
with full understanding.
I have not read either one, but my 8th grade daughter has.  She wants to be an 
English teacher/drama/librian when she grows up.  My daughter said that she did not 
feel Eldest would be inappropriate for a fifth grader, but there is one part though 
where he is taking a bath and he notices the elves don't have any hair in their 
pubic area.  I don't know if he would notice that or just read right over it and 
not pay attention.
My son is 12 1/2 (but an advanced reader) and said that Eldest was on par with 
Eragon. No major difference in levels. I have not read them.
If the Mom is that concerned why doesn't she read it first & decide what is best 
for her child!  If the student read Eragon, he must be mature beyond his 5th grade 
status.  Good luck with that one.  
     I always tell my studetns in 6, 7 & 8 grades to show a book that they choose 
to read & I preface it with the story line (be it dragona, witches, abuse, etc.), 
to ask their parents to read it first or to get their parents' permission.  Do they 
do this, I trust that they do if they choose the book & have reservations  after I 
discuss the book's contents. 
Great series, can't keep them on the shelf. I highly rcommend them.
Sorry to be slow. I thought you'd have heard from a lot of people by now.  I have 
read both Eragon and Eldest.  I actually find Eldest less of a problem.  There is 
one particular image in Eragon that I found needless and offensive.  But nothing is 
perfect, so I just grit my teeth about that one.  Though the last two months are a 
blur (unpacking my library in a new location while starting grad school, and 
getting my two kids from place to place in MS and HS), I do not remember any 
similar image (or images) in Eldest that raised my hackles.
There are many fourth and fifth graders at our school reading Eldest.  Kids do 
self-select. And I would encourage the parent to read the books, and talk to their 
child about them. Forbidden fruit, and all that.
For comparison, here are the comments available on Children's Literature 
Comprensive Database for both Eldest (first) and Eragon (second).
*These reviews were really long (helpful and interesting).  If anyone is interested 
in these reviews please let me know and I will be happy to pass them along.  
Thank you again!

Patricia H. Gray
Librarian, Ritchie Elementary
New Baltimore, VA

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