Parents' Guide to

The Bluest Eye

By Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Deeply poetic novel explores racial and sexual feelings.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 17+

An important book in the pantheon of great American literature

As a woman of color and as someone who has close friends who were been sexually abused as children I read this book in high school and it changed my life. The content is difficult for anyone to handle but it is appropriate for teens 17 and over. In our fast-paced society teenagers are already exposed to pornography and many more things by that age. I would rather that young people learn meaningful lessons about sex and race that Toni Morrison offers than the senseless, mindless, animalistic internet pornography that almost every teenager has seen. The Bluest Eye can cultivate empathy in socially privileged teens who come from healthy homes who grew up relatively unscathed by the trauma of sexual abuse. It is also a refuge for teens of color who come from broken homes where abuse was a part of daily life. Youbg people should not be shielded from the harsh and painful realities of the real world. A sensitive and supportive teacher can introduce the material to young people in such a way that it encourages empathy and compassion--two traits that are sorely lacking in our self-absorbed, superficial, social media-obsessed, instant-gratification types of lifes. This book demands that a reader sees the world through the eyes of a young Black girl confused about how she is treated by the world and by the people who are supposed to love her. A tragic but extremely important book in the pantheon of great American literature.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
4 people found this helpful.
age 15+

Common sense book for any US literature class

This book is written from the perspective of a young African American woman during the 1940s, about her life, struggles and her quest to essentially feel or be white. Although some may consider it graphic and overly sexual, it’s an accurate representation of how young African American women felt during those times, as well as the African Americans place in society during the early and mid 20th century. It truly is a literary masterpiece, and absolutely appropriate for 15 and above.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
3 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11):
Kids say (8):

This is a poetic and complex investigation of racial, personal, and sexual feelings. The doomed characters in The Bluest Eye are both beautifully realized as individual characters and richly representative of the concepts Toni Morrison explores with her story. As the point of view shifts from character to character, the reader comes to understand what drives them, and will be deeply engaged in their experiences and moved by their fates.

Book Details

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