Kid reviews for The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party

Common Sense says

Slavery-themed award-winner is a challenging teen read.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 8 reviews
Teen, 13 years old Written byDecalis April 9, 2008

Utterly Amazing... But like wading through frozen molasses.

Firstly, this is a purely amazing book. The writer must be a certifiable genius to coordinate the language, customs, and philosophy with the time period. It is a masterful work of art, but it is very, very, very difficult to read. I've always read several years beyond my grade level, and I found this difficult, and I think that it is definitely late high school level reading. I know a lot of people that would have found the language wholly opaque. Don't be discouraged though, because it presents a wide range of emotion, science, and psychology that's absolutely fascinating!
Teen, 16 years old Written byBucephalus92 March 11, 2009

Good, well written

I read it at fifteen, but a mature 13 year old could definitely handle it.
Teen, 14 years old Written byMartin_Solis March 6, 2017


I think that this book is very good and very entertaining and the author did a very good job writing this book.
Teen, 14 years old Written bySalvatore January 5, 2010

Great story, historical basis.

I was 14 when I read this (still am), and found it to be just right and actually with an interesting voice. The narrator is supposed to be neutral for the most part, so things that might sound awful under other voices don't sound too heart-panging. Trust me, as a teenage boy, I try to avoid a lot of "touchy-feely" stuff. The novel had some crude humorous aspects, but in 18th century text, they can be tricky to catch. So, this content isn't that bad, only the violence and [animal] abuse. For example, a conversation between boy and master: BOY: Why aren't you a father? MASTER: Because there are many uses for sheep's guts. It took me a second to realize that the man was referring to his time period's condom.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Educational Value
Teen, 13 years old Written bysarahkat321 June 7, 2009

i read this when i was 10...

i read it when i was 10, but my mental age is at least 4 years older, so... but, yeah, definitely a teen book.
Teen, 15 years old Written bymvsoccer April 9, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written byjesuslovesthischick April 9, 2008

An astonishing read

I usually don't read teen lit because i find it too juvenile for my tastes, but this one was a good read. the 18th century style prose is done very well, and the story is intense all the way to the end. i can't wait to read the sequel. I don't think its too mature for teens, i think its written at a level that most 13+ year olds SHOULD be able to understand
Teen, 15 years old Written bymoviegeek April 9, 2008

Hmmm...I'm still not really sure.

The language is not difficult. It is very well written, but I cannot see how most people would have problems. Honestly, it's appalling how poorly people can read. I do have to say that the commonsense people are right to say that kids may not be interested in it though. I still can't say if I like it, because it really suprised me. I'll probably have to read it again to have a definite opinion. It is great to see that there is writing talent for teens out there. Serious drivel has been published lately and I was beginning to lose hope that someone could write.