Parents' Guide to

The Madman of Piney Woods

By Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Moving 1901 adventure explores race, class, mental illness.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids will love THE MADMAN OF PINEY WOODS for its mystery, adventure, and ordinary moments that become extraordinary. The opportunity to see both sides of the story is offered throughout the book, though the back and forth between the characters can be a bit confusing at times. The personal perspectives on race, class, mental illness, and the complexities of life give the novel weight and create a real connection for readers.

Parents will appreciate the care author Christopher Paul Curtis took to offer varying perspectives on the tough subjects highlighted in the novel. He did a fantastic job in creating a story for children that isn't dumbed down or over dramatized. It can be jarring and frank at some points, simple and fun at others -- just like life. Parents and kids might want to read the book together to take advantage of the wonderful discussion opportunities it presents.

Book Details

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