Parent reviews for Song of Solomon

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Common Sense says

age 16+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 18+

Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 15+

Based on 7 reviews

age 18+

Don't bother unless your child is required to read it.

I just finished reading this book. Our local school board voted to make it required reading for our students aged 14 and up. Currently this book will be used in our ap English literature class. This book has been approved by the college board and is therefore an easy select for teachers who do not want select their own reads and create their own syllabus. The college board makes no book recommendations nor does it have any required readings. A teacher may select any book and submit to the college board for their approval. It all just depends on how motivated the teacher is. On to the book. This is the most depressing book I have ever read. This book follows the lives of people who have been physically, emotionally and sexually abused by their own relatives. A father sexually abuses his daughter. This daughter sexually abuses her son. This son moves on to initially be sexually abused by his cousin, but later this relationship escalates into an on going sexual relationship that continues well into their adulthood. A wife is physically, emotionally and sexually abused by her own husband and this same man emotionally abuses his three children. The worst is that none of the victims in this book ever become survivors. They all remain deeply damaged and oppressed by the abuse they endured at the hands of those who were supposed to love them well, and they live accordingly, as hurt people, who hurt people. There is a section in this book that I found especially disturbing regarding the depiction of self abortion. I shudder to think that a student may take this information to heart and try one or more of the methods discribed in this text to rid themselves of an unplanned pregnancy and in the process severerly injure themselves. They could also pass this information onto a friend who finds themselves in the middle of an unplanned pregnancy. If your child is required to read this book, my suggestion to you would be to read it along with them. The adversities that are covered in this book that have no positive outcome or positive solutions to over come them are too many to name. Your child will need you to help them find positive solutions to these deeply tragic, but fully realistic tragedies of this life. Please do not let your child read this book on their own.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 17+


I read this book for College.... COLLEGE. This is not a book for teenagers of any kind unless they are quite mature. (And enjoy incredibly boring books)
not rated for age

Not "prurient" only "lascivious"

The review is a regurgitation from the extremely liberal NCTE rather than an application of common sense that you claim to provide. For example, your review says that the book contains "allusions to incest." Did the writer of this review not realize that the lead character, Milkman, gets his very nickname from his incestuous relationship to his mother while breastfeeding as a young boy? Or that he also has an ongoing sexual relationship with his cousin as a teenager? Also, some of what is said in this review doesn't make any sense at all, never mind COMMON SENSE. For example, exactly how should "older teen readers" be able to "move beyond" the new knowledge that (according to Toni Morrison's novels), blacks have regular sexual relationships with children, other members of their family, and even animals? Your review further states that the "human spirit soars, literally and metaphorically." Would this be in reference to the suicide at the beginning or end of the book? Futhermore, your review states that the sex is not "prurient." Yet the types of sex include: - Breast feeding a boy (not a baby, not a toddler) for pleasure - sex with dead people - oral sex - discussions of sexual relations between a daughter and father - descriptions of foreplay and undressing - teen sex at 16 with multiple partners - fantasies of sex between a mother and her son - sex with whores - sex between cousins - anal sex - oral sex between men - sex using objects forced into each other - discussions of sex with various animals and plants Many professional reviews of Morrison identify her work as "lascivious." "Lascivious" is a synonym for "prurient." Since when did even one description of deviant, perverted sex become "brilliant" literature for minors???
not rated for age

Celebrates spiritual freedom

I’m surprised and disappointed by the August 1 reviews of this challenging but also beautiful and inspiring book. I don’t think subject matter alone should be the bottom line in determining whether a book is worth reading. The world itself is challenging; as St. Paul wrote to the Romans, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Such is the human condition: people want to love each other but they hurt each other instead. The greatest literature seeks to make sense of that truth in all its variety, encompassing the broad scope of our human struggle, including our sexuality. I’ve recently reread Victor Frankl’s harrowing but triumphant holocaust memoir, Man’s Search for Meaning; his bottom line is the one which ought to apply here. He writes, “Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.” This spiritual freedom—the one freedom, Frankl writes, that cannot be taken away—is the true subject matter of Toni Morrison’s wonderful novel.
not rated for age
not rated for age

Not for kids

A good book but not or kids.
not rated for age


This "book" is helping to solidify my families decision on whether to homeschool our second grade girl next year. We are such a debased culture now that this pornography is gleefully peddled to our teenagers. Why a woman would want to propagate stereotypes about her own race on so many levels I do not know! Why is there such an infatuation with suicide? I thought our teenagers needed hope and direction because the suicide rate is so high for them. I will be talking to my son's principal about this garbage and I pray that this school can actually find something of literary value to have the kids read next time!