Black Boy Black Boy discussion


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What age level for this book?

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michelle+8 I read this book many years ago, and I remember finding it fascinating and thought-provoking. On my 7th grade daughter's optional reading list is a biography of Richard Wright that I can't find, and I thought she might read Black Boy instead. But I don't remember if the reading level is appropriate for a 7th grader (she is not advanced), or if there might be anything I'd want to discuss with her in advance. Would anyone who has read this book recently help jog my memory? ;)


Christine I read it a few months ago. It is one of my all time favorites. I think it would be a difficult read for a 7th grader. We have it at my Middle School and I have had a couple of our more mature 8th grade honor students read it.

The book is really two parts. The last section is about his dabbling in the communist party. I found it chewy reading and I have a BA in political Science and love that kind of thing.

I don't think there is any harm in her trying the book. It is pretty harsh in the portrayal of life for African Americans during that period of history. But I think she would get more out of it a few years from now.

What is the name of the book you were originally looking for?


Michelle Mcroberts Michelle wrote: "I read this book many years ago, and I remember finding it fascinating and thought-provoking. On my 7th grade daughter's optional reading list is a biography of Richard Wright that I can't find, an..."

I taught this book to below reading level freshmen. It doesn't sugarcoat, so it would depend upon your daughter's life experiences and naivete or lack thereof as to whether or not she'll understand the themes in it.


Carroll Martin I read it when I was 12 and my father and I would discuss it. It's a little rough, but this may be an opportunity to discuss this book with your 7th grader. I'm a big advocate of reading with younger people, so take this with that in mind.


Chrisolu This book is for high school level kids.


Markeya As strange as it may be,my grandmother gave me this book to read when i was 8 or 9. Although I didn't fully understand it at that time, I was so intrigued by the story that I returned to it countless times since then. Hands down, this is one of my favorites of all time.


message 7: by Justin (new) - added it

Justin Ordoñez I'd give it to her.

She might need your help reading certain sections of it, but you can never get exposed to a book like Black Boy too young. Most of us are already racist and sexist in the ways we're gonna be racist and sexist (for most of us, it's quite subtle and steeped in denial) by the time we're three or four years old, so you can't start the education (intervention) process about it fast enough, IMO.

Plus, it's just a captivating read. It's the type of book that, if it catches you at the right time, can create a life-long appreciation for the power and importance of literature.


message 8: by Don (new) - rated it 4 stars

Don Trowden I was assigned this in Middle School back in 1967 and it engaged me in ways not many other books back then did. I am glad to see people discussing it and would like to reread. I have a feeling this book influenced me as a young white reader in ways I do not even understand. Same for Invisible Man. Back then black culture did not pierce white society much. This helped open minds I am certain.


message 9: by Mark Williams (new)

Mark Williams Markeya wrote: "As strange as it may be,my grandmother gave me this book to read when i was 8 or 9. Although I didn't fully understand it at that time, I was so intrigued by the story that I returned to it countle..."

Thanks!! I just gave this to my 9 soon to be 10 year old to read... As I looked through the pages, I didn't see any words he shouldn't know or be able to sound out... I think the comprehension might get him more than anything... Oh, well!! Time to grow...


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