The Help

The Help

eBook - 2009
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The #1 New York Times bestselling novel and basis for the Academy Award-winning film—a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't—nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.
Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure.
Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

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WPL_Erin Mar 12, 2021

Loved it! It's a classic for a reason.

0
0424pat
Jan 22, 2021

Racial tension. Southern USA.1960's

t
thaitea7009
Nov 11, 2020

The Help is an extremely fun book with robust writing and genuine characters. There are three female protagonists, Minny Jackson, Aibilean Clark, and Skeeter Phelan. The book takes place in Jackson, Mississippi during 1960’s America. During this time, many white families hired black maids to do chores and take care of the kids, which Minny and Aibilean are examples of. However, both Aibilean and Minny struggle with the racist tensions from their owners and the overall white community in Jackson. Meanwhile, Skeeter, an aspiring writer, struggles pursuing her dreams due to gender expectations at the time for women her age to go off and get married. The idea of a single woman is something that upsets her family members, and she wants to find a way out. While all these stories may seem separate they intertwine when Skeeter gets the idea to write a book anonymously on the lives of black maids, needing the help of Minny, Aibilean, and many other black women. Will they be able to pull this off and overcome the racial obstacles blocking their way? This and many other themes are covered in the book, including female empowerment, following your dreams, and gender expectations.
Age rating: 15 and up(adult language and themes)
Star rating: 4 out of 5 stars

k
kwsmith
Nov 01, 2020

Sedately paced domestic drama about rich white ladies and their poor black maids during the 1960's civil rights movement. This book is the basis for the 2011 Academy Award winning film of the same name. My only complaint about this wonderful emotionally-charged book is that it was at least 100 pages too long.

a
anne1212li
Aug 24, 2020

This book itself is well-written and quite entertaining with how coloured people were treated during the 1900s. However, it is indeed a white book written from the perspective of a white person. I still loved the book. When you look at works like To Kill a Mockingbird, you can see many similarities and differences. I don't believe I can compare the two however because both books have different feelings and topics. The Help features black maids and their relationship and love between their white "owners". The book itself is too stereotypical with the way many people talked and it didn't dive too deep into the interior structure of the races. It felt more like a white woman (Skeeter) who tried to have an uncomfortable conversation but failed in terms of connecting with her audience. I don't believe this novel is terrible because it does show different perspectives and it was a very good effort, but, the story itself is just the same message that has been repeated over the last century: "We are all equal, nobody should be treated differently." Also, the ending was something I did appreciate (although I did not like it because of how short it felt). It wasn't a perfect Disney ending and had no resolution because of course racism still continues to today. Kathryn Stockett has created quite an interesting read and is more of a show-and-tell story than anything else.

t
TeaFloyd
Aug 17, 2020

This book would have been so much better for the black community if Stockett had written the book Skeeter had been writing. I found it extremely hard to get through the book because all of Aibileen and Minnie's chapters seem like pity for blacks while Skeeter chapters seem like filler for the actual book. Skeeter being a tall, frizzy head girl who couldn't get a boyfriend was so out of pocket for the story that I'm glad it wasn't important for the movie. I also don't understand how Skeeter could get that far in journalism without noticing the amount of black people dying for speaking out, she acted as if the idea that black voices were being oppressed was a new concept for her.

Out of all the "White Savior" stories I've seen, this is the worse.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Apr 16, 2020

Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is an eye-opening book that follows the lives of two Black maids and one White woman in Jackson, Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement.
After researching about The Help, I found that the book faced a lot of controversy amid the Black population due to its supposed promotion of “white saviourism”. However as I read the book, it seemed as though Stockett was encouraging White people to use their privileges in the proper manner and help minority groups. It also promotes equality by the way the characters were written; the relationships between the main characters, Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter are fluid despite their differences in society and through this, the book sends a message of togetherness. The Help is a must-read book for everyone.
I rate this book ⅘ stars and recommend it to readers ages 12+.
@ilovefood of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

1
1KiowaChickasaw
Dec 05, 2019

I concur with the others - The Help is an engrossing page turner that grabs you by the heart.

k
KorrAnn
Nov 20, 2019

Definitely a must read, I love this book.

a
Abbott Messer
Apr 13, 2019

This is my all time favourite book. I reread it countless times. It took me through a rollercoaster of emotions- I couldn’t skip a page.

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Age

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thaitea7009
Nov 11, 2020

thaitea7009 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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kmoo
Jun 27, 2016

kmoo thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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blue_cat_3464
Dec 29, 2015

blue_cat_3464 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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MurielW
Mar 29, 2015

MurielW thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

violet_flamingo_261 Jun 23, 2014

violet_flamingo_261 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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yellow_fish_98
Nov 27, 2012

yellow_fish_98 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 84

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peterngahe1901
Nov 19, 2012

peterngahe1901 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

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KazNic
Sep 17, 2012

KazNic thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Michelle M. Veilleux thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

shaniserobinson May 29, 2012

shaniserobinson thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

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Quotes

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ArapahoeMaryA Mar 28, 2018

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

I'd cry, if only I had the time to do it.

k
kmoo
Jun 27, 2016

"You is kind, you is smart, you is important."

r
Rainman
Feb 11, 2016

"If I'd played Mammy, I'd of told Scarlett to stick those green draperies up her white little pooper." --And this is partly how we meet Minny in Chapters 3 and 4.

"You is kind, You is smart, You is important."

“Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, "Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?”
― Kathryn Stockett, The Help

bookreader1001 Apr 08, 2014

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
― Kathryn Stockett, The Help

b
becker
Sep 21, 2012

“I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it.”
― Kathryn Stockett, The Help

b
BandGeek24
Aug 24, 2012

"You is kind, You is smart, You is important."

TShura_Biggers Jul 31, 2012

" I might not remember my name but i do remember 2 things. My daughter putting me in a nursing home and you eating shit "

m
mudflapflossy
Jul 17, 2012

I'm sorry, but were you dropped on your head as an infant?

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Summary

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g
green_dog_8304
Feb 03, 2016

In the 1960's taking place in Jackson Mississippi, The most unlikely people become friends. Eugenia Phelan (aka Skeeter), Minny Jackson , and Aibileen, one white woman and two black. Together, through the craziest things possible, they take a risk... To make a change.

j
jiangg
Jul 28, 2015

Skeeter is a white woman, Aibileen and Minny are black women and maids for other white women. They work together to write a book about the life of black maids working for the white women in Jackson, Mississippi.

s
salsaladybug
Jun 17, 2014

Very entertaining and eye opening.

NLewis226 Jul 25, 2012

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter is a southern girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends lives and a Mississippi town upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen, Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up to the dismay of her friends in the tight black town. Despite Skeeter lifelong friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their plan and soon more maids decides to tell their stories. It turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become caught up in the changing times

n
NanaPat
Jun 01, 2011

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home with a degree from Ole Miss , but her mother won't be happy until she has a ring on her finger. Aibileen is a black maid , a wise , regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Minny , Aibileen's best friend , can cook like nobody's business , but she can't mind her tongue so she can't keep a job . It's 1962 , and these three ordinary women are about to take one extra-ordinary step that forever changes a town and the way women-mothers , daughters , caregivers , friends- view one another.

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