A lot or a little?
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kara Lee Corthron's Daughters of Jubilation is a fantasy set in 1962 South Carolina about a 16-year-old African American girl coming into her magical powers. There's some explicit sex, including receiving oral sex, that doesn't name body parts, as well as some descriptions of kissing and making out. Real-world violence and fantasy violence is sometimes horrific; mentions blood, broken bones, and more, but isn't gory. An important character dies, and grief and recovery are important to the story. Strong language includes "s--t," "f--ker," the "N" word, and "nigga." Historically accurate use of "colored people" includes a mention of "CP time," and there's historically accurate teen smoking and a grandmother who smokes a pipe. A teen spikes some punch and has a drink of whiskey to calm down even though she knows it's wrong. Strong themes include the powerlessness that comes from living in an unjust, racist, segregated, and oppressively violent society.
What's the story?
DAUGHTERS OF JUBILATION tells the story of 16-year-old Evalene, who lives in a small U.S. Southern town in 1962. She's just starting to come into her magical powers called Jubilation, which have been passed through generations of women in her family since before slavery. But those powers are as hard to understand and control as the emotions they bring to the forefront, and Evalene needs help figuring it all out. There's also the fact that Clayton, who she's had a crush on for years, is finally starting to pay attention to her. And then there's the mysterious, creepy stranger who keeps turning up, who seems to know Evalene, and one night even manages to get inside her house. Can her Jubilation save her and her family, or will it bring their entire world crashing down around them?
Is it any good?
This compelling read keeps the pages turning by nicely balancing lots of different elements, like systemic racism, magic, family, first love, community, belonging, and more. Daughters of Jubilation also adds an engaging teen main character grappling with growing-up issues anyone can relate to, and a host of other well-developed and colorful characters. Readers will also get a real sense of how the segregated society affected individuals, families, and communities, which may encourage understanding and inspire empathy. The novel has a well-structured plot and inventive magical elements that evoke Evalene's connection to her ancestors. Strong sex, violence, and language make it best for mature teens and up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Daughters of Jubilation. Is it too much? Is it realistic? Is reading about violence different from seeing it in other media?
What about the sex? Is it gratuitous or fitting to the story? How much sex is OK in books, movies, games, etc.?
What do you think about books that blend historical settings with fantasy? Does it make the real-world stuff seem less accurate? What other books have you read that blend history and fantasy? Which are your favorites?
- Author: Kara Lee Corthron
- Genre: Historical Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, History
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publication date: October 13, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 352
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love fantasy and stories of racism
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
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.