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

Book review by Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 11+

Comic's engaging memoir of growing up under Apartheid.

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 4 reviews

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.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Stands out for .

Community 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.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 14+

Not for young kids

As an adult I thought this was a good book and important for kids to read about different cultures and perspectives. I just find many things in this book too mature, dark for 6th grade reading assignment. Middle school is such a big jump for kids anyway but important to remember they are still young.

This title has:

Too much violence

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a sister and brother holding hands
    Brothers and Sisters
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a high school letterman's jacket
    High School
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a map and jug
    History
    See all
  • Cartoon photo of a keep out sign
    Middle School
    See all

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