The Good Earth

Book review by Kenneth Butler, Common Sense Media
The Good Earth Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Gritty, moving tale of couple in turn-of-the century China.

Parents say

age 17+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 4 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Exceptional, Harrowing and Euphemistic

A wonderful book, I still read it 20 years later. A spot on look into the Chinese collective unconscious, the best book I've ever read on the backdrop of modern Chinese culture. Changed how the world viewed China with its incredibly realistic portrayal, practically a first hand account. However, I think families should know that there are several euphemistic treatings of philandering and polygamy. The main character frequents a prostitute and later sleeps with a young girl. While opium is clearly looked down on it is mentioned quite frequently. The realism is exceptional but it has these costs. It's a great read, a page turner, Story at its best and a beautiful but harrowing (again, strict realism) look into the soul of China.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much sex
age 18+

Kids will be bored.

Yes Good Earth is a classic. Yes it is an interesting story. But the pace is slow and I cannot imagine any 12 year old I know not being bored to tears by it.

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love multicultural books and historical fiction

Themes & Topics

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