Promised Land is a book with a fairytale plot and a non-traditional ending. A hint of this twist is given in the opening lines: “Once upon a time, in a land not far away, a place where no one cared if you were straight or you were gay.”
Prince Leo meets Jack, a farm boy, and over the years their friendship grows until at the end of the tale, they are married. Along the way the two boys deal with Leo’s stepfather, who has evil intentions and wants to take control of Jack’s family farm.
The illustrations are similar in style to certain animated films, and the book is in a landscape format, resulting in full-page colour illustrations with the text cleverly fitting within the pictures.
I found it difficult to gauge the targeted age for readership; I read it to a Year 7/8 class, and they were very surprised at the ending; one of them said they thought it should be for older children, which I found interesting. I think it would be a good book to share one-on-one or with a small group.
Title: Promised Land
Authors: Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris
Illustrators: Christine Luiten and Bo Moore
Publisher: Promised Land Entertainment Ltd
Date of Publication: February 2017
Ages: 8–18 years
Reviewer: Vickie Humphries
School: Mount Cook School, Wellington