Parents' Guide to

Bridge of Clay

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Expansive, touching saga of Aussie family's losses, loves.

Bridge of Clay Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+

Language ruined it. Junk. Didn’t add any value.

I read The Book Thief and it was great so I wanted to read this one. The language was so bad it ruined it. Not needed. Ruined the story.

This title has:

Too much swearing
age 18+

One of the best books I ever read,

This is so beautifully written but is so dense with meaning, its definitely an adult read.

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (4):

Themes of loss, grief, and love reverberate across the generations of an Australian family in this sweeping, poetic novel from Markus Zusak. Bridge of Clay is slow to start and scattered at times. The story jumps around in time, with flashbacks within memories, making it occasionally hard to follow. The writing is beautiful in spots, and Zusak fans will find much of the flowery (and sometimes ponderous) prose they love him for.

The five Dunbar boys are easy to like. Their love for each other jumps off the page, and their interactions are endearing. Clay, especially, is a wonderful, interesting, and complex character. The novel is best when it's tackling issues of loss, memory, and how grief is different for everybody, even within the same family. The loss of parents and the way it affects those left behind for the rest of their lives form the basis of the story, as everyone in the Dunbar family has lost at least one parent, either to death, emigration, or abandonment. While the daily lives of all the Dunbars, especially their relationships inside and outside the family, are portrayed in great detail, some of the big and important plot reveals are depicted in a vague, confusing way. The story would benefit from tighter pacing and better explanation of the plot surprises, but as it is, many readers are sure to fall in love with the Dunbar boys and their fierce ways of loving one another and preserving their family history.

Book Details

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