Many years ago in the Middle East, a young boy follows his dreams and travels the land in search of the ultimate treasure. After leaving his home behind and pursuing a career as a shepherd, the boy is prepared to fulfill his destiny at all costs. Along his journey, the boy encounters thieves, prophets, and, of course, an alchemist, but he only uses his experiences to propel himself toward his treasure. In the end, the boy learns not only the value of his treasure, but of life itself.
Paulo Coelho’s tale is a charming and quick read, told in fable form (making it feel like an extra-long Bible story). Though there are a few mildly violent scenes, all the content of the story pertains to the development of the overarching moral. I would not call it a gripping read, but I do think that The Alchemist is a refreshing splash of moral integrity in a world full of books with questionable levels of appropriateness. In addition, the novel is perfect for readers of any age, as the lessons it instills are sound and important.
Rated: None. There is some mild violence, but it is scarcely described. The novel is also devoid of profanity and sex scenes.