Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Teen review: The Help

by Kathryn Stockett
464 pages
Historical fiction based on a true story

Not part of a series
High school and above

Reviewed by Tyler C., grade 12

The Help is a 2009 novel. The story is about African American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She is an aspiring journalist, and she may have a degree but in 1962 her mom won't be happy until she has a ring on her finger. No one will tell Skeeter where Constantine, the family's maid, has gone. This leads Skeeter to look more closely at the other maids in her community. The book is about a white woman (Skeeter) who writes stories about black maids and how they are mistreated by their white employers. She becomes deeply involved. All this takes place during the Civil Rights movement.

This book didn't appeal to me, and I would give it 3 stars. It kind of got boring throughout the book, and I had to keep going back to understand the message of the whole book. For the most part, I guess it would be readable and entertaining , but in my opinion, that varies from person to person.

Editor's note: For another viewpoint, here's another teen review. I somewhat agreed with Tyler, although I think I liked the book better than she did. This is one instance when I have to say that I think the movie did the subject matter more justice!

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