Parent reviews for Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 7 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.
2 people found this helpful.
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.
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Stellar Work

Reynolds did a great job condensing a massive book into highly-readable concepts. As a librarian, I love that each historic figure in this text is presented through a critical lens, as no one is all good or all bad, and Reynolds draws a lot of attention to the dichotomy of one's words and one's actions, an important distinction in next step of antiracist teachings. Teachers at my (rural, 97% white) school are currently reading this in a book club and love it. We are discussing pairing portions with our existing American history textbooks and English course standards. This book DOES require you to read with an open mind and know that some things will make you uncomfortable. If you want to read something that makes you feel good about how far we've come and doesn't ask you to change your own thinking, pick up any of the thousands of other books that have been around since forever.

This title has:

Educational value
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

A great entry point for young readers

This book breaks down the history of racism and what it means to be an antiracist in a simple, powerful and fun (Can a book about racism be fun? Somehow this one is) way. I appreciated that it explains the difference between assimiliationists and antiracists in a way that a young audience will quickly be able to grasp, as well as giving the historical context surrounding institutional racism in our country. If you're looking to start a conversation with your kids about these topics, this is a great place to begin.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

Highly disappointed

I thought this book was going to provide thoughtful information about racism in America. Instead it seemed to be filled with inaccuracies, assumptions, and a worldview that blames whiteness for all of America's racial problems. The authors have a very skewed and narcissistic view of human nature. On the first page of the introduction they write, "Racist and antiracist ideas have lived in human minds for nearly six hundred years. Born in western Europe in the mid-1400s, racist ideas traveled to colonial America and have lived in the United States from its beginning." Clearly, the authors have not studied any history prior to the mid-1400s, as racist ideas and actions have existed in the minds of humans from the earliest points of civilization. Their statement blames Western Europeans for creating this thing that all of humanity must battle, called Racism. The book progresses in this same fashion for 255 pages. The authors find fault with every historical figure possible from Fredrick Douglass, W.E.B Du bois, Abraham Lincoln, Harper Lee, and M.L.King. The only people they seem to truly admire are Angela Davis and Malcolm X. I will be using the book with my children not to discuss racial problems in America, as intended, but rather to explore poor writing styles and logical fallacies.
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Accessible story of race and America

I read Ibram X Kendi's "Stamped from the Beginning" a few years ago, and it's a challenging read. Jason Reynolds took that text and tells the same story in a way that is super accessible for kids and adults. This is important stuff and has sparked a lot of conversations in our family as we read aloud nightly. My 10 year old mostly listens, sometimes leaves the reading, but it is too important for me to say "nah, he doesn't need to hear it at all," so I'm rating this a for kids 10 and up.

This title has:

Educational value
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

So Good I Couldn't Put it Down!

I read this because I wanted to know. I read this because I wanted to better understand. I read this and it was so good, I couldn't put it down and read it all in one sitting. This book answered questions about racism I have had my whole life and offered answers to questions I hadn't thought to ask, but should have. As a white adult and educator, I read this book looking for insight into what is happening right now and I found it. This book is definitely a middle school and higher read (and perfect for adults). Some of the words are hard, like "polygenesis", which make it a good candidate as a read with me book for upper elementary and lower middle school (5th, 6th, and 7th). Families of all types would benefit from reading and discussing this book together. People of all ages and types would benefit from reading this book. It's an excellent place to start or continue your journey on being an informed human being.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
1 person found this helpful.