Kid reviews for Life of Pi

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Common Sense says

age 16+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 43 reviews

age 11+

Zoos. The Most Dangerous Places on Earth

I skimmed through this book. There is a bit of violence. Pi becomes Catholic in the end, which is good. But the main thing to take away from this book is that animals are living nightmares. Pi's father was trying to make sure his kids didn't touch the animals in the zoo, and so he told them violent (and occasionally very inaccurate) stories about what an animal can do to you. I'm surprised his sons don't have a phobia of every living creature under the sun after these tales of animal horror. Hippopotamus: Crush your bones with teeth. Lion: Slash your guts out. Tiger: Ditto. Panther: Ditto. Bear: Ditto. Crocodile: Decapitate your limbs and drag you screaming into a murky pond were you drown. Ostrich: Break your back. Little birds: Cut your fingers up like butter. Elephant: Strangle, skewer, stomp on, and crush the life out of your broken, bloody body. And one I'm skeptical about... Swan: Crack your skull with it's beak and break your arms with a flap of it's wings. Boy, they must have some swans down in India. It's a wonder they haven't taken over the world yet. The moral of this story: Zoos are death traps. Stay as far away as possible, and try to to have them shut down by the government. Also, take the zookeepers' kids away from them and put them into foster care because they are endangering their children's lives. Especially take them away if they name their son after a swimming pool. That is practically a sign of certifiable insanity.
age 14+

Life of Pi review

Exploring the Pacific and limits of a boy named Pi Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is an astonishing novel exemplifying the power of faith and God in survival. Pi Patel is a young boy at the age of 16 exploring his life when tragedy strikes. While on a giant cargo ship sailing across the Pacific it crashes killing everyone aboard. Pi finds himself stranded on a boat with a tiger, hyena, zebra, and a brand-new life. Using wit and making daring risks, Pi lives aboard the same boat as a tiger for 200 days. Yann Martel wrote this book highlighting the power of faith in survival through a young boy named Pi Patel. Yann Martel flashes back to Pi’s childhood explaining his family’s situation and how they are moving to Canada. Pi is shown as a very simple boy with very complex religious beliefs. He explores three different religions and couldn’t decide on which even with the encouragement of three different religious leaders. In the move to Canada, Pi is exploring the deck of the large cargo ship in the middle of the night when the boat starts flooding. He is thrown into a lifeboat with a tiger, hyena, and an injured zebra. Pi watches nature take its course and reality sets in when he is left alone on a boat with a tiger named Richard Parker. Pi learns that he must take risks and that if one didn’t pay off the loss could be his life. Pi takes a risk in reaching for supplies saying, “I lowered the lid again. The life jackets were at hand’s reach. Some were right against Richard Parker” (Martel 266). This shows that Pi has not become comfortable with the tiger but established an understanding of the tiger’s behavior. Pi learned a new way of life and how to live splitting his food with Richard Parker and spending his days on a homemade raft. He learns how to survive by sucking the life out of every animal for food and resources. “Butchering the turtle was hard work. My first one was a small hawksbill. It was its blood that tempted me, the ‘good nutritious, salt-free drink’ promised by the survival manual” (355). He starts the book as a religious vegetarian and turns to a man willing to eat anything for survival. After a hundred days Pi’s moral is on a steady decline especially after both him and Richard Parker go blind. With no food, Pi starts to atrophy until he runs into another boat. The man he meets explains to Pi that he had eaten other humans on his adventure but still claimed to be a friend to Pi. Pi then fails to articulate that he has a tiger on his boat leading to his “friend” falling into Richard parkers pit. This was the turning point for Pi’s survival after scavenging the cannibal’s boat for food. This boost in nutrition for him was enough to reach an island. Pi described it as “It seemed quite large, if the shoreline was any indication; left and right it stretched on with only a slight curve” (471). Pi and Richard Parker had a whole island to themselves to regain their strength, moral, and they regained sight! Pi talked about how his life on the island is an antithesis to his life on the lifeboat. While exploring the island he discovers a tree growing fruit. After inspecting the fruit that only grew on that one particular tree, Pi started peeling the leaves off. He kept peeling leaves only to his dismay to find a human tooth in all 32 bundles. This was enough for Pi to leave the island and test his luck with the ocean again. Yann Martel’s Realistic fiction story Life of Pi is an action-packed book and a fascinating read for anyone 14 and older. The book explores the limits of a character and shows dramatic character change throughout the story. It is a completely new novel unlike any other that isolates one character and their relationship with God and nature. “Life on a lifeboat isn’t much of a life. It is like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn’t be more simple, nor the stakes higher” (386). Pi was tested in every way, but he describes multiple times that the greatest struggle was the mental battle. Another amazing part of the book is seeing the change through the story in Pi’s relationship with the tiger. He learns the behavior of Richard Parker just as Richard Parker did with him. With all these struggles that doesn’t even mention the arduous that went into common tasks like peeing and fishing. It was truly astonishing how Pi goes from a young vegetarian exploring three regions to being stranded and exploring bizarre sea creature’s blood! Something that could possibly push the reader away from the book was the amount of religion in the novel. It was described as something very important to Pi and his survival but for some people this is hard to relate to. This could cause for the story to feel slow at points before he is stranded. This is like a lot of very popular books like for example Harry Potter where life is normal until a travesty or event. Once the unfortunate part happens the book naturally picks up its pace making a great read just like the Life of Pi. Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is his most famous book that won many awards including being on the list of New York’s best sellers for over a year when published in September, of 2001. He has also published 8 other books including The High Mountains of Portugal and Beatrice and Virgi. Martel describes the limits of a sixteen-year-old Indian boy to perfection exploring the ability of risk and God. Anyone and everyone who loves animals or survival would love this book and should look to read for themselves too.
age 15+

Life of Pi: an insightful masterpiece

In a battle of the wills, who will prevail: man, or tiger? This is the question proposed by Yann Martel, author of The Life of Pi. Martel has a degree in Philosophy, has many New York times best sellers, and has published a great variety of literature. To articulate, he is a published author capable of writing wonders such as The Life of Pi. In this exemplary illustration of Man vs. Nature, our protagonist Pi is trapped on a small lifeboat with a wild tiger. During his time at sea, Pi develops into a bolder man capable of taming wild animals and surviving for months on end. The slow-paced novel explores certain themes of survival and faith, diving deep into the will of beast and man alike. When the tentative plot is combined with the unique writing style, The Life of Pi makes for a fascinating read. The Life of Pi explores the borders of reality, when protagonist Pi is stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger, a hyena, a zebra, and an orangutang. In the first section of the book, Pi is torn between three major religions. All his religious leaders advocated for their specific religion, but Pi maintains his polytheism. Pi and his family choose to move to Canada following political tension in India. During their voyage, tragedy struck, and Pi is stuck on a lifeboat with a Zebra, Hyena, Tiger, and Orangutang. At first Pi stows away, terrified of the hyena and blissfully unaware of the tiger’s existence. Once the hyena has killed the Orangutang and zebra, the tiger (hilariously called Richard Parker) finishes the hyena, completing the heigherarchy of mother nature. It is at this point in the novel that Pi starts taking bolder and bolder steps to ensure survival, at one point reaching past said tiger for a cache of food and water. “I lowered the lid again. The life jackets were at hand’s reach. Some were right against Richard Parker” (Martel 236). In this quote, Pi reaches into a locker full of life saving supplies and grabs many life jackets to build a small raft with. After many days of coexistence, Pi has an epiphany. He realizes if he does not tame the tiger, it will eventually kill him. He creates a small raft and tethers it to the main lifeboat, using it as staging grounds for the taming of Richard Parker. After many nausea inducing attempts, he and Richard Parker develop an affinity. Pi finds another man, who is also temporarily blind, and by mistake lets him die to the tiger on his ship. Pi proceeds to eat some of the man’s flesh and all his food. Many months pass, the discombobulated duo find an island inhabited solely by meercats and carnivorous algae. Pi notices the island’s man-eating tendencies when he finds teeth wrapped up in the leaf of a fruit. Pi is terrified that Richard and Pi eventually both leave the island, presumably scared of the same inevitable fate. In The Life of Pi, Pi goes from being a strict vegetarian Hindu/Christian/Muslim to a man-eating sinner, and although this makes the book a more interesting read, it can be quite upsetting to younger readers. When Pi was living in India, he was a devout Hindu. He swore that he would never eat an animal, and his authoritarian father scared him straight with a terrifying and gut-wrenching demonstration of raw animalistic nature. During his time on the Pacific, Pi killed many fish, turtles, and even people. The first time he broke his sacred vows was when flying fish were practically falling into his lap, and he grew hungrier for every fin they flapped. “I put the hatchet don. I would break its neck, sight unseen, I decided… I egged myself on until I heard a cracking sound and I no longer felt any life fighting in my hands” (291). After this killing, Pi makes a change for the worse and starts slaughtering turtles and eating their blood. Many of these scenes are very graphic, but truly immerse the reader in the books’ setting and accurately show Pi’s hunger for survival. No event was more surreal than the meeting of the second survivor of the Tsimtsum’s sinking. After meeting a random blindman at sea, Pi talks to him for an hour or so. Pi learns the man had eaten two women or children. Pi continues to meet the man and embrace him on Pi’s raft. The man is not informed about the tigers’ presence however, and quickly is killed. Pi goes on to consume some of the man’s flesh and eat his food reserves. I believe Pi did this intentionally, adding a deep new level of Pi’s will to survive. His experience on the Pacific has molded him from a shy, sensitive, religious boy to a powerful, bloodthirsty, killer of a man. These new traits are what allow him to live his many months on the Pacific and make this book a better read. The contrast between where Pi started and ended is like comparing a war-weathered man and an innocent boy. There are two major themes apparent in this novel, faith and survival. Pi’s incessant tendencies with his religions are exemplified in the first section of the book, where he argues with his family about his polytheism and multiple religions. The irony of it all is how shortly after Pi is peaceful with his three religions, he is forced to sacrilegious actions by the cruelty of mother nature. Not only is he forced to break his vow of vegetarianism, and he also commits an act against Allah by drinking turtle blood, and eating fish that were not sacrificed for god. This slow-moving novel is an amazing read, unlike other books where the protagonist is fighting against nature itself. The Life of Pi also deeply explores topics of faith and religion during troublesome times, throwing even the most casual reader deep into thought. I believe that, although this book might not be suitable for all ages, everyone should take a dive into the mind of Pi for a nice long while.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
age 9+

It’s so BORING

The first part of this book could have been rewritten in only a few pages and had lots of information that I felt was unnecessary. This made me lose interest in the book early on. The second half of the book wasn’t much better. Pi was always complaining about how he was afraid Richard Parker would kill him while at the same time saying that Richard Parker saved his life. This doesn’t make any sense. The book is very boring and I personally found the plot line to be kind of dull.
age 13+

Great book: Not for younger kids

For me, this book wasn't too bad but kids who don't like detailed descriptions of gory images shouldn't read this.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
age 11+

Unique story about a boy and a tiger is beautiful and interesting!

I really, really like this book because it's one of the few books that is written for adults but is completely appropriate for tweens and teens without being boring. The writing style is great, and the story is really interesting! I think everyone should read this book at least once in their life. Violence: I expected the violence to be a lot worse when I first read this book, but it's not too bad and it's not very disturbing. The only violent scene that I can remember is when the tiger eats another animal. It's described in a detailed way, but it's not too sad or too gross. I don't think there is anything that is actually inappropriate in this book, but I think it's best for kids eleven and up because it's long, and the writing is very different from the writing in books for kids.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 12+

Read Before You Die

I first read this book at 11 when and English teacher recommended it. I found it at the library, and absorbed it within days. Every month, I came back to library and checked it out again, until the cover was in tatters. Very deeply spiritual, comments on the human condition and mind. The narration is sharp and relatable, the characters are shockingly real.
age 12+

This book is amazing!!!

This book has intrigued me from the first page. (it talks about sloths in the second paragraph, and I LOVE sloths) The religious stuff was interesting (I am Jewish, but I don't believe in god, so his views are different than mine, but still make sense). There is a bit of gore, but I personally did not flinch (I flinch a lot when watching stranger things, and can't dissect animals, but the gore was not to bad) they do talk about sex, so parents: don't let young kids read this. some words were unfamiliar, but after reading I quickly understood their meaning. Also, the book is filled to the brim with facts about animals.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
age 12+

Amazing book

I absoloutley LOVED this book!! It tells the story of a deeply spiritual and intelligent young boy on his journey across the sea on a lifeboat. With a tiger. This book changed the way I think. I cried at the end. The horrible irony about Commonsensemedia on this book is that they rated the movie, with gory visuals, 12+, but this book 16+, which is bad because this book is too easy for sixteen-year-olds, in my opinion.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 13+

This book was better then I thought

I had to read this book for school and I’m glad I did! It’s really good! As an aspiring writer, I loved the story. It really keeps you at the edge of your seat through the whole book. You cannot stop reading it! The ending really gets you thinking and you have to read it again with that set of mind. Totally recommend!

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages