Parents' Guide to

Finding Langston

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

In lovely, moving story, boy who lost mom discovers poetry.

Finding Langston Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This emotionally rich story of a young boy adjusting to the loss of his mom works as a lovely human story, as well as an introduction to the Great Migration and the poetry of Langston Hughes. Finding Langston weaves in historical information meaningfully but gently. Readers can think about what it might be like to move from a rural community with outhouses to stacked urban apartments with indoor plumbing. And Cline-Ransome makes it easy to enter the poem excerpts by tying them so closely to the boy's own experience. There's lots of information about the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago in 1946, and much of the story takes place in the historically significant George Cleveland Hall branch of the Chicago library, which hosted an important lecture series featuring black writers of the era.

But the book is never overwhelmed by the historical content and works beautifully on its own as a warm, touching story. Hearts will go out to this appealing young narrator as he tells his story, and eyes may tear up as he forges new human connections and begins to heal. Cover art by Cline-Ransome's husband, James Ransome, tops the treat.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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