Bram Stoker's Dracula

Book review by
Rhiannon Bruni, Common Sense Media
Bram Stoker's Dracula Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Classic vampire tale is sexier and darker than you remember.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 13 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

An excellent glimpse back into the turn of the century. Plus many of the newfangled inventions of the late 19th/early 20th century play a major role in the story. Trains, typewriters, and steam ships are mentioned often.

Positive Messages

At the core of this story is a group of individuals working together to defeat a literal monster in their midst.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mina is a strong female character. She is practical, courageous, and selfless in the face of increasing peril. She is resourceful and plays a key role in defeating Dracula. Lucy is foolish, free with her affections, and selfish, but she is punished for it. Jonathon is curious, protective, and brave. He shows a strong will to escape his captor and protect Mina.


Staking, throat slashing, biting and blood drinking. These scenes are not described with gruesome detail, but there is definitely more colorful descriptions than you'd expect from a late Victorian novel.


This classic is much sexier than you remember. Sexually aggressive female vampires dance seductively for Jonathon Harker who expresses "a wicked, burning desire" for them to kiss him. There's a suggestive, promiscuous female predator (Lucy), and an unsettling scene involving the heroine (Mina) forced to drink from Dracula's breast.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Male characters drink and smoke in passing as was the custom for the time period. Plus some unsettling descriptions of the "medicines" used by Dr. Seward.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the vampire novel that started it all is sexier, more violent, and edgier than you probably remember. In one scene, sexually aggressive female vampires dance seductively for Jonathon Harker who expresses "a wicked, burning desire" for them to kiss him; in another the heroine is forced to drink from Dracula's breast. While not described in gruesome detail, there's plenty of staking, throat slashing, biting, and blood drinking. Count Dracula is not the tortured romantic hero of modern-day cinema, but rather an evil monster that must be destroyed. Also, parents should be aware that this novel has a strong female character turned into a sexually aggressive predator, as well as unsettling descriptions of mental illness.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEthan R. May 27, 2021

Classis horror story build great suspense

This book gives depth to characters, and builds great suspense. The story is written not as a modern horror story but it goes a bit deeper into the story and... Continue reading
Adult Written bytkcomte December 12, 2019

Great novel

It may be a bit confusing with shifting POVs, but overall a great book
Teen, 13 years old Written byMiss.abibliophobia February 16, 2021


Okay first of it’s a great book, I really like how despite this being a book written in the Victorian century, stoker does a really good job at portraying mina(... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bysensible_teen June 21, 2020

This book is an intriguing classic that might be too scary and hard for young readers.

I enjoyed this book, however some parts made me feel disturbed. Dracula has a much more creepy and dark feel than other classic horror books. Earlier in the boo... Continue reading

What's the story?

When Jonthan Harker is sent to Transylvania to conduct some business for an enigmatic nobleman, he's warned by the villagers that Count Dracula has evil powers and diabolical ambitions. When Jonathon attempts to leave he discovers that the villagers are right; He is held captive by the count and barely escapes, badly injured. Meanwhile back in England, his beautiful wife-to-be, Mina, joins her friend Lucy in Whitby to wait for Jonathon to return. Lucy falls ill and begins acting very strangely and it becomes apparent that Lucy's illness is related to the evil count. With the help of two of Lucy's suitors, a brilliant old professor, and a new-found incentive to protect Mina, Jonathon sets off back to Transylvania to destroy the monster.

Is it any good?

DRACULA has all the necessary requirements to keep it read by each generation of horror fans. As well as being an excellent time capsule to turn-of-the-century England, it's a scary, intriguing under-the-covers read. With great horror staples like spooky howling wolves, damsels in distress, evil monsters, and a quest to destroy them it's not surprising that this is the novel that kicked off the vampire craze. While the myths about vampires may be familiar, don't be too shocked when this vampire is more monster and ghoul than romantic hero.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the vampire myth. How are the vampires in the Twilight series different? Which vampire lore do you prefer? 

  • Why, when Count Dracula is such a cruel creature in this novel, has he become such an iconic character?

  • How does the novel itself live up to the hype of all the movies? Were you disappointed to find that Dracula isn't the romantic hero he is on screen?

Book details

  • Author: Bram Stoker
  • Genre: Horror
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Penguin Group
  • Publication date: December 31, 1969
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 15
  • Number of pages: 560
  • Last updated: September 16, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love supernatural

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate