Parents' Guide to

Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Evolution case in brief poems about the locals.

Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial 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

Though the Scopes Trial is an inherently fascinating moment in American history, this serviceable introduction to it focuses mainly on its impact on residents of the town. There are the teen friends who are split by the debate; an African-American teen who is educating himself and inspired to dream of becoming a lawyer; a woman who runs a small hotel; and others. Each is a real and distinct character, and through them the reader gets snippets of what happened in the courtroom, and of the nation's avid, but short-lived attention.

Novels written in verse are a burgeoning genre, but it's hard to see what that format adds here. Usually the format is chosen either because it relates to the theme (biographies of poets, stories of children who love or are learning about poetry, etc.), or because it is a way to add a lyrical, metaphorical layer to the story. But the verse here is rather flat-footed and, well, prosy. It does have the advantage of making what looks like a medium-length book a pretty quick read, so RINGSIDE might be a good choice for reluctant readers. For any class learning about the trial it can serve as a quick way in. But it would have worked just as well, and without any rewriting at all, as a shorter, prose book.

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