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Parents' Guide to

Song of Solomon

By Brad Philipson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Brilliant but mature classic explores racism, gender, power.

Song of Solomon Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Don't bother unless your child is required to read it.

I just finished reading this book. Our local school board voted to make it required reading for our students aged 14 and up. Currently this book will be used in our ap English literature class. This book has been approved by the college board and is therefore an easy select for teachers who do not want select their own reads and create their own syllabus. The college board makes no book recommendations nor does it have any required readings. A teacher may select any book and submit to the college board for their approval. It all just depends on how motivated the teacher is. On to the book. This is the most depressing book I have ever read. This book follows the lives of people who have been physically, emotionally and sexually abused by their own relatives. A father sexually abuses his daughter. This daughter sexually abuses her son. This son moves on to initially be sexually abused by his cousin, but later this relationship escalates into an on going sexual relationship that continues well into their adulthood. A wife is physically, emotionally and sexually abused by her own husband and this same man emotionally abuses his three children. The worst is that none of the victims in this book ever become survivors. They all remain deeply damaged and oppressed by the abuse they endured at the hands of those who were supposed to love them well, and they live accordingly, as hurt people, who hurt people. There is a section in this book that I found especially disturbing regarding the depiction of self abortion. I shudder to think that a student may take this information to heart and try one or more of the methods discribed in this text to rid themselves of an unplanned pregnancy and in the process severerly injure themselves. They could also pass this information onto a friend who finds themselves in the middle of an unplanned pregnancy. If your child is required to read this book, my suggestion to you would be to read it along with them. The adversities that are covered in this book that have no positive outcome or positive solutions to over come them are too many to name. Your child will need you to help them find positive solutions to these deeply tragic, but fully realistic tragedies of this life. Please do not let your child read this book on their own.
age 17+


I read this book for College.... COLLEGE. This is not a book for teenagers of any kind unless they are quite mature. (And enjoy incredibly boring books)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

SONG OF SOLOMON is American literature at its finest, and its beauty and complexity are simply awe-inspiring. Toni Morrison deftly interweaves past and present, and the slow discovery of the history of Milkman's people carefully reveals where he has gone wrong in his own life, as well as what he must do now. Morrison's firm grasp of recurring themes and images pulls readers in with all the suspense of a popular mystery, then carefully mines the depths of the human condition, exploring the ways in which families differ and evolve, how we treat those we love and those who love us, the nature of liberty, and a person's place in society. Teens will appreciate the challenge of tackling such a complex novel, empathize with Milkman's search for identity, and be left with plenty to think about and discuss.

Some readers may dwell on the sex, violence, and language, but students who have trouble relating to typical English class fare often find this to be the first assigned book into which they truly sink their teeth and which they actually enjoy.

Book Details

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