Review: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


in a sentence: Two men, one desperate journey.

The Steinbeck classic is by far one of the most utterly and realistically depressing novels ever. George and Lennie are living a less than desirable life as roving ranch hands in California during the Depression, and to make matters worse, Lennie is "simple minded". George and Lennie have been through many trials together, by force or by fate, and this novel takes us through their final trial together.

The tone of depression and fading hope is lightened by George and Lennie's friendship, but not to a sappy degree. I think young adult readers will find it refreshing that this tone is consistent throughout the novel, and the fellow ranch hand characters encountered are unique. No sugar coated beginning, middle, or conclusion to the novel - a realism that is appreciated by the young adult audience. I think where this novel fails to reach young adult readers will be with resonance and relevance. Sure there are morals to be learned, and it is an amazing story - "so what?" young adult readers might ask. I am not surprised this was a challenged title, because of the drab and bleak outlook with periods of violence and harsh language, but again this is the realism that young adults (especially teens) admire.

I rate "Of Mice and Men" a 4Q and 2P according to VOYA standards. While the conversation, tones, and overall writing is pretty good, I think it might be challenging to overcome as a young adult reader. The title, though well known, isn't the most popular with the teens - partly because it is a required reading with some schools which creates a stigma, and party because it just lacks the appeal for a general young adult audience.

Title: Of Mice and Men
Author: John Steinbeck
Genre: Challenged Title, Classic

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

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