Monday, May 14, 2007

More racial identity

Patricia McKissack's A Friendship for Today was exactly what I was looking for! This semi-autobiographical novel not only covers a young girl's experience with being one of the few blacks in a school that was being integrated, but also discusses her best friend's struggle with polio and her parents' divorce. Some of the characters are really nasty, but some are good-- it was a well-balanced novel. A good addition.

Nikki Grime's The Road to Paris was also good; contemporary, about a biracial girl in foster care. For an essentially philosophical novel (one's place in the world), it read quickly. We rae seeing more and more students in foster care, and this would be a good book to help explain it to our students who have no idea what that would be like.

Brenda Woods' The Red Rose Box was another historical novel, set in 1953, and gave an interesting description of the differences in the ways of life for blacks in the south and in the north during that time. What I liked most was that it was such a nice novel about a young girl growing up. A lot of good details about life in general during this time period.

Not quite as sure about Sheila Moses' The Legend of Buddy Bush. Mainly about a black girl's uncle who is accused of accosting a white girl, there is too much other stuff going on, and not enough about the uncle. Just somehow didn't strike the right note, but wasn't altogether bad. Will keep it under consideration.

Walter Dean Myer's Harlem Summer would probably make a good accompaniment to Curtis' Bud not Buddy and Levine's Dave at Night. I wasn't quite getting it (the appearacne of Fats Waller and Dutch Schulz somehow threw me) but I think the boys will like it. Students will read just about anything that Myers writes.

1 comment:

  1. Just found a whole series for African American teens called Kimani Tru. Check it out: