Perhaps you remember reading Anne of Green Gables as a child. Do you remember what Anne called her closest, dearest friend? If not, I will remind you– kindred spirits. If you ever hear the word “kindred,” this might be what you think of. You have probably figured out by now the word “kindred” reminds me of Anne. There is a small word within the word kindred (kin). Now, what do you consider “kin” to mean? So what if your kindred spirit was someone related to you, someone that lived generations before you, and there is no possible way you could ever meet? I know sounds weird and possibly crazy. However, that is the logical, factual belief because we cannot travel back in time.
Kindred is a neo slave novel that begins its story with a black woman married to a white man in the 20th century. That alone could be troublesome in some parts of the country, even in the 1950s. Add in the ability to travel back in time to a time when slavery was still in existence and something interesting is bound to happen.
I really enjoyed this book because of the sense of mystery and suspend Octavia Butler continues to build. This story is great to use as a supplemental text when studying US History during the time of slavery. The text could also be used in an American Literature class, which is precisely why I read this book. A warning to teachers, parents, and students– language is a recurring issue in this book. Abuse and rape are also present themes that were often associated with slavery. If used as a resource, it may be a good idea to put forth this information for parents so that they are aware. However, these topics can be tactfully discussed. I recommend that students read Kindred with guidance of a teacher. Have you read Kindred? Do you think it is appropriate for teens? I would love to hear your thoughts.