Emily I am 16 and I picked this book up because I recently finished les miserables, so I just wanted a relatively short read. I read it over the course of two days, and I found it more disturbing to read than Handmaid’s Tale. However I did enjoy reading it and felt that it was a very good eye opener for me. (Plus most of Toni Morrison’s books are included in many quiz bowl questions)
Karen Davis If you are a teacher--read the book! I have found, in many, many years of teaching, the only way to assess how useful a specific book is for the goals I have set for my students is to carefully read and annotate the book myself, marking passages for character development, themes, socio-historical context, comparisons with other books or films, etc.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Though I read it myself at age 11 or 12, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under 17. There's a lot of violence (physical as well as emotional) and sex as well as language. It deals with drug use, graphic PTSD in a returning soldier, and death in various forms. I read it over 40 years ago and having just re-read it I realise how deeply it marked me.
Marilyn NO! I have read 4 of her books and have not found one yet that I would recommend and certainly not to teens.
Ruth I agree this is not for any teens. It is beautifully written and has ideas that could be for teens, but the detail Ms Morrison goes into of the sexual activities is not a healthy reading for young, developing people.
Kimberly It's not a "YA" book but I would never say someone can't read it as a teen. This book is not shocking to those of us who lived through some similar things, and it offers a window into a world many teens would benefit from seeing. If you're asking as a parent, it's up to you. If you're asking as a teacher, read it first and assess. Some teens are more sensitive than others, but to make blanket statements that "no teen should read this book" is super damaging!
Janis Griffiths Not a young adult book at all, but a fascinating portrait of a culture and a community. If a young adult is capable of reading it, then they probably should but there are some real shocks and some beautiful passages too.