Parents' Guide to

The Slave Dancer

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Kidnapped White boy sees cruelty of slavery in graphic tale.

The Slave Dancer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

I think it would be better suitable for.....

I feel this book has many racial slurs and complete disrespect towards women, such as when the crew look at the naked slaves or when Jessie peeks through windows to see naked women. This book has drunkenness and feel it would be for aged 13+ I just feel this book is too graphic for youngsters since it does depict the horrors of the slave trade. Definitely only for mature teens and up.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 12+

Its fine but...

This book is great but you do need to be alerted of language and reference to sex, and drugs. I believe this book is only for you if you are mature. This book is also for older kids because it is a little harder to read. It is an interesting book and very good but it is very detailed about the slave trade. Btw it might say Im a parent but I am really 11 years old this book was a little too much for me and many of my classmates.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (6):

By telling this story from Jessie's point of view, author Paula Fox helps young readers share his journey and his horror, as the brutality of the slave trade is revealed to him. It's an emotional point of entry to a grotesque world. This is an enormously effective approach, especially when Jessie is made to "dance" the captives. This is a disturbingly (and realistically) violent story, in which inhumane treatment of the captive Africans segues into murder when they are hurled from the ship into shark-infested open water. Younger readers, particularly those who are sensitive to injustice, should read this book in a classroom setting or along with parents who can help their children understand the material and express their feelings about it.

Book Details

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