Posted

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Posted Book Poster Image
Realistic, moving story of finding courage to be yourself.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Shows how words can have meaning you neither intend nor anticipate, and you can't control how the recipient will respond. Brief discussion of privileges and limits of First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Works in thematic connections to poetry by Robert Frost and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Offers some guidance on dealing with bullies, including ignoring bait, using a sense of humor to defuse taunts, and standing your ground and refusing to play the part of victim.

Positive Messages

If you only listen to what others say, you'll never hear yourself think. Words can haunt people forever. It isn't always necessary to play by overly restrictive rules. Sometimes action is necessary. Living with integrity requires courage, but good friends make it easier.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Frost is deeply empathetic and reflective, appreciative of special qualities in others, and able to recognize his own failures and shortcomings. Rose uses her difficult past experiences to reinforce her armor, refusing to let other people's judgments and assumptions define her sense of self. Teachers are perceptive, attentive to the social drama bubbling over in their classrooms, and they handle sensitive situations with empathy and concern.

Violence

Bullies threaten to dunk kids head-first in toilet. Kids bike down a dangerous hill to settle disputes, resulting in injuries. Some anecdotes about an adult who lost fingers defusing explosives in war zone.

Sex

Kids make sly, mean-spirited jokes about Romans and homosexual activity.

Language

Crude language sometimes used to insult others, including "crap," "pissed," "turds," "hell," "jackwad," "homo," "pr--ks," and "butthole." Parent's use of phrase "get busy" causes some embarrassment.

Consumerism

Plentiful mentions of brand-name snacks, cars, games, and other products (Post-It, Sharpie, Coke, Pringles, Crayola, Doritos, Huffy, Lego, and more) as well as apps and tech (including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook) and media (such as Star Wars, Lord of the RingsThe Hunger GamesGame of Thrones).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

An adult drinks a beer while spending time with a child.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Posted is a nuanced story by John David Anderson (Ms. Bixby's Last Day) about friendship and the power of words -- to harm and to help -- as students respond to their middle school's new cell phone ban by leaving sticky notes instead of sending texts. Kids are verbally bullied and physically harassed for their appearance, ethnicity, and passions. Students settle scores with a treacherous bike stunt, lying to adults about injuries and damaged bikes. One boy is deeply hurt by his parents' divorce and another has parents who fight bitterly. Though the book is marketed for ages 8 and older, we think the middle school context and subtle, bullying homophobic slurs make this more appropriate for kids 10 and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydnsimon November 1, 2017

Amazing Read Aloud

I used this book as a read aloud for my middle school 6th graders. They absolutely LOVED this book. Every day they would beg me to read them the next chapter.... Continue reading
Adult Written byOlivia H. April 12, 2018

ELA Teacher Review

This novel was great! I read it in a few hours just because I could not put it down. I was trying to screen all of the books that I was choosing for my student... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bywungastarwars October 2, 2017

Quite Slow, and Rather Dull But has strong Characters and Messages

Frost regards his friends as a tribe of misfits -- a budding poet, a benchwarmer, a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast, and a music prodigy -- protecting eac... Continue reading

What's the story?

In POSTED, Frost regards his friends as a tribe of misfits -- a budding poet, a benchwarmer, a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast, and a music prodigy -- protecting each other from the wolves in middle school. But that starts to change with the arrival of Rose, a bright, bold girl built like a linebacker. She latches on to Frost's tribe, throwing his friendships off-balance. Meanwhile, his friend Deedee reacts to the school's new cell phone ban by leaving sticky notes instead of sending texts. The idea spreads, but soon the proliferating notes escalate to a cruel sticky note war. Frost's tribe is caught in the middle of it. Normally they'd just lie low and try to avoid trouble, but that isn't Rose's style -- she thinks it's time they fight back.

Is it any good?

Author John David Anderson offers words of comfort and hope in his insightful portrayal of middle school pressures -- to be liked yet to be yourself, while weighing the risk in every interaction. Through the eyes of the young poet in Posted, he focuses on the power of words: to wound, to protect, to heal. He exposes the casual cruelty of middle schoolers without flinching, but also shows how compassion and strength can still shine brightly.

Frost is a strong narrator, sharing his affection for his quirky friends as well as his self-consciousness about his tribe, and his sometimes regrettable behavior when it comes to Rose. No one gets through the stormy seas of middle school unscathed, Anderson makes clear, but he shows kids how they can steer their own course. A terrific read for jocks, misfits, popular kids, and nerds alike.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way kids use cell phones in school in Posted. Is it similar to what happens at your school? What are the cell phone rules at your school, and are they effective?

  • Do you enjoy poetry? Is there a poet or particular poem that resonates with you?

  • How do you handle cruel comments from classmates?

Book details

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