Before We Were Free

Book review by Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 13+

Moving historical fiction about life under a dictatorship.

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 14 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+
It was a great novel. Alvarez does a phenomenal job at covering the political unrest and tension of the Dominican Republic under Trujillo.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
age 13+

Interesting theme but some inappropriate text

My 12 y.o. daughter was assigned this book in 7th grade English. While she generally appreciated the theme, she was also very upset at times by what she described as the "dark" parts, which included the deep suffering of the main characters, and by her retelling, fairly graphic torture scenes. She was very uneasy about finishing the book, and had it not been a school assignment, likely would have stopped reading.

This title has:

Too much violence

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love history in action

Themes & Topics

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