Powerful and Timely - Everyone needs to read Kindred

Summary:

It is 1976 and we're in Los Angeles, California. Dana, a black writer, is celebrating her 26th birthday with her new husband, Kevin (who is white), when her surroundings go dark. She has been transported to a Maryland plantation in the antebellum South. There, Dana is called to save Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner who is drowning. Then she returns to LA. Kevin isn't sure what just happened.

Throughout the story, Dana repeatedly travels back in time to the plantation. Each stay lasts longer and is more life-threatening. Whether or not she returns to 1976 is determined by whether Rufus himself can survive. Can Dana survive being transported back to a time when her skin color dictated what level of the caste system she was a part of?  


Teen Volunteer Reviewer (17):
The people I read this book with were very intrigued by the story. The plot's twists and turns made it even more intriguing and my audience was very interested in figuring out the ending. I was not surprised they liked it, because Kindred is a well-written and organized book that presents its message with no complications.

I also really enjoyed this book. It is extremely well-written, and I enjoyed the absurdity of the time travel and yet still clearly voiced the history in the US south. This book perfectly reflects how black people were mistreated and is powerful conversation starter at at time when we are talking about injustice the black community faces. People who feel "unfamiliar" with these injustices can learn a lot in this story.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who like fantasy, history, and/or realistic fiction will be captivated by this story of a young woman's travel through time. 

Content Awareness Factors:

This is a story about slavery. It is not "sugar-coated," and our reviewer described it as "gruesome." Some readers may feel uncomfortable with the content. Despite the elementary reading level, this is not a book for young children.


Type of Book:
This is a fictional novel that incorporates both historical fact and time travel.
Educational Themes:

The core of the story is how it represents racism and creates a basis for conversation. This book takes place both in 1976 and an earlier time where slavery existed and it reflects how much things have changed between centuries. There are opportunities for empathy, understanding, and education.

Reading Level:
4.0
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
14 and Up
Age of child:
Student Volunteer, Arcadia High School. Reviewer Age: 17
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is a book that you can re-read to refresh your memory about US history and the violence done to people solely because of skin color.

Title Kindred
Author Octavia E. Butler
Publisher Beacon Press © 2003
ISBN 9780807083697
Material Paperback
Cost $16.00
Genres Adventure, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel

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