A Light in the Attic

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
A Light in the Attic Book Poster Image
Parents recommend
Poet delivers both a moral lesson and mischief.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

In light verse Shel Silverstein delivers both a moral lesson and mischief.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Behavior of the kind that gets its just rewards and the kind that kids use to test their limits are both in abundance.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the playful language and light look at (sometimes serious) subject matter keep kids entertained. The art is expressive and sometimes pleasingly over-the-top.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byfr0stedshad0w April 9, 2008
Adult Written bylolalolacherrycola April 9, 2008

Introduction to Poems

My 8 year old son brought this book home from school. He really enjoyed it.
I bought him a copy and we have read it together. I would recommend it to other pare... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMichael05 February 14, 2019

Childhood Favorite

Before I ever learned how to read, my mom would always read me poems from this book, which was my sole motivation for learning how to read. After revisiting it... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bygrasshopperonth... September 3, 2010

4 every1

I loved it and i still read it!

What's the story?

In light verse Shel Silverstein delivers both a moral lesson and mischief. Had everyone who ever read these poems followed their teachings, we would live in a funky, imagination-fevered world free of whiners, charlatans, spoiled brats, and losers.


Is it any good?

For many modern children, Shel Silverstein is their introduction to the joys of poetry. For decades he has tickled and enchanted generations of kids, and acted as a counterweight to the insipid poems they encounter in their basal readers. Silverstein looks at life from unexpected angles -- full of spirit and merriment and salad days. He sticks it to the naggers and the greedy and the lazy; their only recourse is to get a grip.

He gives voice to fears that are hard to express: "Last night, while I lay thinking here, / Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear." Said Whatifs quickly get to work: "Whatif they start a war? / Whatif my parents get divorced? / Whatif the bus is late? / Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight? / Whatif I tear my pants? / Whatif I never learn to dance?" The poems are complemented with Silverstein's expressive and innovative pen-and-ink illustrations.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pleasure of these poems. Why do you enjoy them?

  • These are great poems for kids to perform aloud and could inspire kids to write their own poems.

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love verse

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