Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Powerful book about lynching, rape; older teens only.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+

s Of The Galaxy

age 15+
Good book, just way too sexual for too many people who would be interested in it.

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Author Julius Lester lays bare the reality of the dreadful act of lynching, and the culture that supported it. Of all of the terrible things now thankfully in our history instead of our present, though not so far back as we'd like to think, lynching is surely one of the worst -- the act itself, of course, but also the horrifically festive way it was often perpetrated. The story, and even more so in the stunning back matter, will shatter many of the comfortable myths that we use to separate ourselves from our own past.

The subject matter here is strong stuff, and Lester sets it out in stark and angry terms. At times this works against him, causing him to create cartoon villains like Zeph, the white boy who rapes and murders the virginal preacher's daughter and pins the blame on an innocent black man. But at other times he shows remarkable subtlety, especially with Ansel's conflicted feelings about his crush, his father, his future, and, eventually, his own part in the lynching.

Book Details

  • Author: Julius Lester
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: October 1, 2008
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 14
  • Number of pages: 129
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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