Tunes for Bears to Dance To
By Monica Wyatt,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Compelling, simple story with an emotional wallop.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The villain despises people of all races and ethnic backgrounds different from his own. The main character briefly succumbs to evil but redeems himself.
Violence & Scariness
The main character has a brief fight with another boy, and readers learn that the villain beats his daughter. Mr. Hairston forces Henry to choose between committing an evil act or losing his family's entire income.
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Mr. Hairston constantly uses words disparaging to ethnic groups.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this compelling, simple story carries an emotional wallop, keeping kids interested with simple and stark but effective writing. This beautifully written novel will give you and your children a lot to think and talk about.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
After World War II, Henry's father cannot work, and his mother scratches out a living as a waitress. The boy's prejudiced employer tells Henry to destroy an art project created by an elderly Holocaust survivor, or else he will fire Henry and have his mother fired. Henry must learn how to fight the evil man in this short but compelling morality tale.
Is It Any Good?
Robert Cormier's simplest book tackles his major theme, evil, with an easy story suitable for readers younger than his usual audience. The brevity of the story helps intensify its impact on readers.
This beautifully written novel will give you and your children a lot to think and talk about. It is short enough that it doesn't intimidate most reluctant readers, and tells a story compelling enough to interest adults. It's an excellent introduction to Cormier's longer and more difficult works.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the notion of evil. In what forms does evil appear in the story? How are these evils combated?
- Author: Robert Cormier
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
- Publication date: January 1, 1992
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 14
- Number of pages: 101
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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Where to Read
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