Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial Book Poster Image

Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial

(i)

 

Evolution case in brief poems about the locals.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some of the townspeople are racists and religiously intolerant, but most are not.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigars and cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is little to be concerned about here, unless you'd rather your child not learn about the debate about teaching Evolution.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

John Scopes is a young high school science teacher in 1925 Tennessee who is arrested when he teaches a class on Darwin's Theory of Evolution. This book tells the story of his trial through a series of poems from the points of view of various fictional townspeople -- teens and adults -- and a reporter. Includes Character List, Author's Note, and Bibliography.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the debate, which continues today. Should Evolution be taught in schools? What about Creationism or Intelligent Design? Why do science and religion sometimes seem to be at odds throughout history? Children may also be interested in learning more about the Scopes Trial -- see below for a few places to start.

Book details

Author:Jen Bryant
Genre:Historical Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date:February 1, 2008
Number of pages:228

This review of Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement