As a parable of hope and love, it is enchanting.
—Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
...[is] nectar-sweet without dissolving into a drippy, gooey mess.
—Matt Stevens E!
...a commendable coming-of-age drama.
—Leah Rozen People
...insists so strenuously on its themes of redemption, tolerance, love and healing that it winds up defeating itself.
—A. O. Scott New York Times
...tries so very, very hard to hit all its marks: Reasonably faithful adaptation of New York Times best-seller? Check. Heartfelt message of racial tolerance? Check. Highly marketable cast? Double check. You can practically feel the sweat dripping from the movie?s earnest brow.
—Jessica Reaves Chicago Tribune
...can't avoid the sugared-sap clichés that have helped to craft this particular motion picture subgenre.
—Bill Gibron filmcritic.com
...has tripe and schmaltz and stereotypes...
—Nick Schager Slant Magazine