Parents' Guide to

The Braid

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Immigrant story with a fascinating knotted twist.

The Braid Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Written in what seems like free-verse poetry, this story gives a double dose of pleasure. The first comes in reading THE BRAID -- a lovely, lyrical evocation of some very hard times, told in two voices, with intervening odes to various aspects of the story. In stripped-down words and images, the essence of the immigrant experience is conveyed with power and passion – and, mercifully, without stereotypes, even in the secondary characters. The lives these people led were hard enough to make the story resonate without peppering it with the kind of cardboard villains that too often populate books of this genre.

The second pleasure comes when you finish the story and get to the Author's Notes, where she reveals the intricate, complex, Celtic knot-inspired structure of her poetry and it becomes clear that this is so much more than just free verse. It's far too complicated to describe here, but few readers will be able to resist the urge to go back and look at the text again with this new knowledge, and lovers of wordplay will be especially delighted. Braids are not only a major theme of the story, they are the way the whole thing is actually structured. It's unique and utterly fascinating.

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