Although this book was very well written, I couldn't understand it very well. I probably would not have finished it if it hadn't been required reading for school. I would think that older kids might be able to undertsand it, but that most of it is too subtle for eighth graders.
I read "Of Mice and Men" that year later in ninth grade but found that the story made perfect sense while, interestingly enough, the Steinbeck of the year from eighth grade ("The Pearl", which remains one of the most terrible books I've ever read) didn't. However, I've reread "The Pearl" since then, found it as bad as it ever was, and yet "Of Mice and Men" remains one of my top favorite books. This review does point out problems with the education system that allows eighth graders to feel this way ("Oh, I guess it's a good book but I'm just too stupid to get it."), but the honesty of the reviewer deserves its mention. Meanwhile, this comment was left below:
Eighth graders???!!! Are you kidding me? By thirteen ANYONE should be able to understand this, unless the world is going very quickly downhill...
Just goes to show that sometimes the commenters who are convinced they are enlightening others are absolute idiots and simply cruel.