• The School for Good and Evil

  • The School for Good and Evil, Book 1
  • By: Soman Chainani
  • Narrated by: Polly Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,442 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL will soon be a major motion picture from Netflix—starring Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh,  Sofia Wylie, Sophie Anne Caruso, Jamie Flatters, Earl Cave, Kit Young, and more! 

The New York Times bestselling School for Good and Evil series is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one. Start here to follow Sophie, Agatha, and everyone at school from the beginning!

With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.

The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed—Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.

But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?

Don't miss the thrilling conclusion to the beloved series, The School for Good and Evil #6: One True King!

©2013 Soman Chainani (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

Featured Article: The Best Kids Audiobook Series for Every Young Listener


Audiobooks are a great resource for children, whether they are just learning to read or already voracious readers. Studies show that listening to audiobooks has a positive effect on their developing minds, and listening to stories with great narration and voices help kids engage more with a story. We've chosen a variety of great audiobook series for kids and broken them down into age groups to make it easier to find an option that works for you and your family.

What listeners say about The School for Good and Evil

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sugar coated darkness. Grimm Brothers brutality

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would, with the warning that their intro to school is a little slow, but once they are there things are dark and brutal and rather messed up in a way that is often times shocking. I know this is a kid's book, but I sometimes thought it too dark for kids. At times, it often felt like a fairy-tale setting Lord of the Flies, as far as a certain characters spiral into madness. It is a very good and interesting book though. I couldn't stop listening, despite some flaws in the pacing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The School for Good and Evil?

I love all the moments when Agatha and Sophie choose each other, though Sophie is a TERRIBLE friend, she does care about Agatha, and that always shines through her petty, shallow, and selfish demeanor. She's still terrible, but you want for her to be better. Agatha is an AWESOME friend. God, I was so proud of characters are several points in this book, like when Hester invited Agatha to be her guest at the No-Ball, and students put aside their differences, when Evil helped Good. Ugh. Loved it.

Have you listened to any of Polly Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I could have, I would have.

Any additional comments?

The book ends as if at the end of the chapter, rather than the end of the book. You want to keep flipping to find out what happens and you can't. It's a cliffhanger ending in a way, so that it and the next book are actually just one big book.

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Hollow at the Center


The School of Good and Evil is an interesting book - what is essentially a riff on fairytales ends up being a straight adventure story lacking any of the morals upon which it is based; as such, it ends without making a point and contradicting itself and the characters throughout. Less demanding readers will read it as a simple tween romp and enjoy it as such. But more demanding readers may be frustrated by the lack of point of view by the author.

Story: Agatha and Sophie live in an isolated village in the middle of a forest. Every year, the 'headmaster' of the School for Good and Evil comes and takes two children in the night to be students in his school. Sophie eagerly wants to go: she's sure she'll be a fairy tale princess. Down to Earth Agatha, however, finds the whole thing pathetic. When both girls are taken to the school, Sophie ends up in the school for evil (to be a witch) and Agatha lands in the school for princesses. With both girls sure they are in the wrong place, how will they survive their schoolmates long enough to get back to their village?

Most of the book is a fish-out-of-water story of each girl dealing with the horrors of their situation: beautiful Sophie with the farting/warted/dowdy evils and grounded Agatha dealing with the vain and superficial princesses. There should be a lot to mine here and a lot to be said about not falling into the cliches of either group. But somehow nothing is really said - is Sophie evil in her heart? Is Agatha really purely good despite her frogs and antisocial behavior? Are the princesses, with the callous and selfishness, really good? And are the evils really born that way or made so through cruel treatment? The answer ends up muddled in each of those situations as the story mostly concerns Agatha trying to get home and Sophie stymieing her. Even a point that neither is wholly good or wholly evil fails to materialize in this muddled plot.

In listening to this Audible version (in which the narrator did an excellent job), I kept feeling like there was going to be something deeper than the shallow story on top. The story really lacked nuance, depth, and especially a POV by the author to make this really work for me.

32 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Book!

If you could sum up The School for Good and Evil in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining, exciting, fun

What did you like best about this story?

The imaginative plot and the development of the characters. Polly Lee is a fabulous narrator and really brought this book to life!

Which character – as performed by Polly Lee – was your favorite?

Agatha

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

We bought this book to listen to on a long family trip in the car. Both of my children were enthrall and didn't want the story to end. My husband and I also found the story and narrator to be excellent. This story is very reminiscent of Harry Potter with lots of action, a blurry line between good and evil with the added element of princes and princesses!

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Well written

What did you love best about The School for Good and Evil?

I liked the idea that there WAS a School for Good and Evil. And I spent a long time wondering WHICH school I would be in... bwa ha ha

Who was your favorite character and why?

Agatha because she may not have looked it, but she was actually good

What about Polly Lee’s performance did you like?

Her performance was OK but could have been more dramatic

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No it was too long and other books were calling!

Any additional comments?

I'm waiting for the sequel since the ending was definitely a cliffhanger!

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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terrific narration.

the story was very so so. I wouldn't have continued in fact I would have returned it except that Polly Lee is one of the most wonderful narrator's I have ever heard. Even this story she made listenable.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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fun for all ages

I really enjoy this series. Fairy tales and a bit of satire. Perfect mix. For all the kids (and grown ups) who have wished that children's stories/movies told more complicated stories. A bit dark for super young kids...I'd say ages 10-11+ would be fine though

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fun book for magic and mischief, love and longing

I chose this book bc my 13 yr old neice was reading the series. I loved it. a little bit of a harry potter feel but still very different. Love the concept of readers and fairytales! looking forward to reading the whole series. narrator good too!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Tedious

The idea of this book was good and the ending, the very very end (not the events leading up to it) was good. But the rest Of the book was the same drama playing out over and over with different details. The plot line was week, just a chaotic series of youth drama events with predictable characters. The right mix of drama, suspense, and relief was missing. My 8 year old enjoyed it but she just likes being read to.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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It’s another book with a blond white girl named Sophie as the main character.

I don’t really see anything special or anything that stood out about this book but it was an ok pass time

1 person found this helpful

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Just wasn't my thing

I just didn't care for it. Had a hard time feeling conected or staying interested.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mara
  • 06-27-13

A mismatched friendship, trial by fairytale?!

This story tells the tale of two very different girls being kidnapped and swept away to the infamous School for Good and Evil.
The legacy; two children over the age of 12 are chosen from the town of Gaveldon every year (one undoubtedly good and the other undoubtedly evil) and are taken by the schoolmaster, never to return, with only the lucky ones appearing years later as, bafflingly, characters of fairytales.

With Sophie and Agatha separated, they must understand and overcome the ways of Good and Evil in order to be re-united and return home, because there are more to fairytales that meet the eye and not all of it's about twinkling tiaras and magic broomsticks...

This is captivating to listen to because I'm so keen to find out what happens to the unlikely duo next after constant setbacks to their rashly built plans! The storyline is unique, interesting and completely changes the way fairytales are portrayed (in a deliciously upturned way!), which makes you question whether fairytales have been written right and what happens to those that don't make it into the stories, not to mention if the friends will ever get home in one piece.

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  • Lydia
  • 06-21-13

Wow

Would you consider the audio edition of The School for Good and Evil to be better than the print version?

Brilliant story. Have read book and listened to it. It's really difficult reading aloud as long chapters. Audio book allowed my child to go at the pace she wanted which was the whole story as quick as possible and not wait for me to do 1 chapter a night.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Loved both Sophie and Agatha. So perfect and yet so wrong.

Which character – as performed by Polly Lee – was your favourite?

Agatha and Sophie are both performed equally well.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Disney meets St Trinians

Any additional comments?

Fabulous Story. I hope there is a sequel.