Classic Theater for Today's Teens


The Younger family lives in a small apartment in South Side, Chicago. They have little money due to the fact that they are an African American family. So many people under one roof creates a variety of issues and tension among family members: Mama Younger; her daughter Beneatha; and her son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, and their son Travis. After her husband's death, Mama is expecting a life insurance check of $10,000. Everyone in the family has a different idea of where the money should go to, which creates even more issues in the family. This story is set in the 1950s, which brings environmental and social factors into play on where they can spend the money. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
This play, while it was not the most riveting to me, is interesting for someone who wants to see what the world was like in this era. Since it was written in the late 1950s, it has phrases and trends from the time, and with an African American family. It also describes some of the mistreatment and unfairness one might expect to see. Because of the language and complexity, I recommend this for teens and older.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers interested in classic literature or famous plays will not be disappointed in A Raisin in the Sun. Pair this with a viewing of the movie, which features the Broadway cast.

Content Awareness Factors:

Although the story has a middle-grade reading level, its themes are more mature. Language and complexity of the issues make it more suitable for high school students and young adults.

Type of Book:
This is a script for a play that won awards on Broadway.
Educational Themes:

The story is, in some ways, a period piece that immerses readers in the 1950s. However, there are timeless elements - particularly in the character's beliefs - that can create interesting discussions about what has and hasn't changed since this play was written in 1956. 

Lorraine Hansberry was an African American playwright born in the 1930s. Readers may be interested in learning what it took for her, as an African American woman, to get her play on Broadway.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is the script of a play. You may read it once then watch the movie to get a full appreciation.

Title A Raisin in the Sun
Author Lorraine Hansberry
Publisher Vintage Books, Imprint Knopf Doubleday © 2004 (Reprint, Reissue Edition)
ISBN 9780679755333
Material Paperback
Cost $6.99
Genres Performing Arts, Social Issues
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