Parents' Guide to

Inventing Victoria

By Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Teen reinvents herself in engaging post-Reconstruction tale.

Inventing Victoria 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 ambitious, engaging historical novel gives readers a glimpse of the diverse lifestyles of African Americans during the post-Reconstruction era. Inventing Victoria makes good use of the historical setting, and author Tonya Bolden effectively uses poetic language to convey scenes of intense emotion. She also successfully tackles the emotional price of "bettering" oneself, an issue that's relevant to teens and families today.

Overall, the novel is entertaining, but it sometimes gets preachy: Monologues included to provide historical details sometimes seem contrived. And occasionally, a character expresses explicit social commentary in words that don't seem natural.

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