After the First Death

Book review by Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
After the First Death Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Suspenseful plot has a psychological twist.

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 32 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Parents beware

I read this book when my 13-year-old child read it for school and disliked it intensely. It is a difficult read, and many kids will not fully grasp the details due to a constantly-changing narrative viewpoint. The plot revolves around a bus of 5-year-old children being kidnapped by terrorists. The bus is driven by a 16-year-old girl. All of the 5-year-olds are drugged. Parents should know that two of the little children are murdered by terrorists in this book; one overdoses on the forced drugs and one is shot and killed. The murders are celebrated by the terrorists in front of the media. Parallels are drawn between the United States military and terrorists. Two major characters commit suicide, a father and his teenage son. The girl is murdered point-blank in the end while begging for her life and crying for her mom and dad. The ending is unresolved with the main terrorist escaping and murdering yet another person. There is no doubt this book would be rated R as a movie due to drugging/overdosing of children and violence against children. Educators who select this book for children under 16 are baffling to me, given the wide range of fiction available today. Hideous book, parents beware.

This title has:

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

Parent of a 13 year old

I would not recommend this book. Even thought there is no outright sex, there is sexuality. One of the main characters sees the girl changing clothes on the bus, naked, and his mind wanders back to and fantasizes about that throughout the book. I was disappointed Common Sense Media didn't allude to any of the sexuality.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex

Book Details

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