Parents' Guide to

It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

By Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Comic's engaging memoir of growing up under Apartheid.

It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 13+

Provides incredible insight into apartheid and culture

I think highly of the book but wish we'd waited a few more years. I have a highly sensitive child - nearly eleven - and he's not nearly ready for it. I'll have to finish it on my own because after one tearful break he recovered from, he broke down a second time several more pages in and hurled it across the room. Most kids wouldn't have responded that way but I usually find Common Sense Media provides a good metric for me to gauge whether it's age appropriate for us or not. This time we were wrong. We were about 1/3rd in. I'd read that it was very funny so I thought this would offset the darker themes. At times it did so, but young children today who live in a less harsh world can have a harder time understanding parenting methods of a more traditional time and the violence of another context. The book tells such a good story and offers so much insight into apartheid that I learned a lot and wish I had waited several years before offering this to my son. Some spirits are more easily crushed.
age 16+
Humorous and thought provoking. Very insightful and interesting. Had a fair bit of language and a couple references to pornography and sex.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Trevor Noah's adapted memoir is the best kind of kids' nonfiction: His misadventures are highly relatable and engaging, even when things go horribly wrong. Readers will come away with deeper knowledge about what Apartheid was, and the social ramifications of racism, sexism, and poverty. It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood entertains while it teaches readers essential historical lessons, leading them to consider social issues thoughtfully. Information is presented effectively for young readers through Noah's personal experience and observations, and through the publisher's epilogue on the history of Apartheid. This is not an easy book, but it's easy to appreciate.

Book Details

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