Parents' Guide to

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

By Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Conversational history traces U.S. ideas about race.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 13+

Not What I Hoped It Would Be

I wanted to love this book. I expected to find it engaging. Instead I found a “not history book” that was presented as historically accurate. Racism did not begin in the 15th century and Haiti is not in the Eastern Hemisphere. Many statements were presented as factual but are biased and debatable. Young people may not have the reading and analytical thinking skills to distinguish fact from opinion when it is presented as factual. Inflammatory language may make many readers feel confused and defensive - which is unproductive to open and honest conversations on race and America’s history.
age 16+

One side, distorted

Like many other reviewers this presents itself as telling history but picks and chooses quotes and events and doesn’t site sources. It is very misleading. The author specifically says its not a history book so he can get away with only showing one perspective and drawing many conclusions that are not supported by fact. However, it is written as if it is a true history and that is the way kids will read it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Jason Reynolds' extraordinary gifts with language make reading this history with commentary feel almost like listening to a freestyle rap artist. It's an ambitious experiment with a few flaws. Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi set out to make Stamped something other than a history book. Rather than a list of dates or an interpretation of the same major historical events, it mixes historical facts with commentary to trace a history of ideas. That makes it a fun departure from books that aim to teach about events, but the idea that it's "not a history book" doesn't quite ring true. Readers should be aware that the authors present a strong, subjective point of view, not a neutral investigation. At times, it seems stories were cherry-picked to support the thesis instead of a thesis being crafted around the most significant historical events. Still, it's an entertaining and important read.

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