Parents' Guide to

It's Kind of a Funny Story

By Joe Applegate, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Brilliant, edgy story about suicide best for mature teens.

It's Kind of a Funny Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

Weird, sometimes adult exploration of suicide fine for teens

It's Kind of a Funny Story is an interesting, kind of strange exploration of depression and suicide. Though it's obviously not written for adults, it has some adult content--language includes one or two F-Bombs, "b-tch," etc. The main character frequently thinks about and discusses sex--though most of the references are somewhat obscure--and there's some pretty crude sex talk between teenagers, including discussion of masturbation and genitalia. Kids smoke pot. The book delves into self-harm and hospitalization, so expect some upsetting themes. Other than that, should be fine for teenagers. Overall, though, it isn't very well written. Other titles cover the same themes far better.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
age 13+

"... Not for good but for real."

I was going to write a raving literary review but I decided against it. The thing is plain and simple. I love this book. Whether you get in depth or not, it is a great book about a hard subject. It helped me. Not for good, just for real. You don't even have to relate a whole lot, but you will, for this to help you, because you will, at the very least, understand depression a little better. This is a book I will be re-reading. This is a book everyone should read.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (14):

There are a few cliched characters, such as Craig's adoring younger sibling and bumbling dad, but what sets this book apart is the quality of writing. The pain of having an endless to-do list for school, of trying to keep one step ahead on the good-grades, good-college, good-job track, of trying to please parents who mean well but also keep a sharp eye on their bright child's "amazing journey" -- this is the pain that IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY compellingly describes, and that many kids can relate to.

Craig describes the accessory-heavy style of his dreamgirl classmate this way: "I think her accessories were a courtesy meant to distract from her small, lucrative body and baby-doll face." A parent-free teen party in a Manhattan apartment is rendered in wild, sensational detail, and so is a poker game played by a cast of mentally stricken patients. If your teen is ready for the graphic (but not lewd) descriptions of petting and the pervasive use of drugs, this will be a dazzling read.

Book Details

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