Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lies We Tell Ourselves Week: Five YA Books on Integration

To continue our celebration of Lies We Tell Ourselves, here are five YA books that cover the extremely tumultuous and difficult process of integrating our country's schools:

(descriptions from our catalog)

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (see our full review)
The civil rights movement in 1959 Virginia irrevocably changes the lives of two girls: a persecuted black student who is one of the first to attend a newly integrated school and a white integration opponent's daughter with whom she confronts harsh truths during a school project.

Fire from the Rock by Sharon M. Draper
Sylvia Patterson is shocked and confused when she is asked to be one of the first black students to attend Central High School, which is scheduled to be integrated in September 1957, whether the citizens or governor of Arkansas like it or not. Before Sylvia makes her final decision, smoldering racial tension in the town ignites into flame. When the smoke clears, she sees clearly that nothing is going to stop the change from coming.

Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me by by John A. Stokes with Lois Wolfe and Herman J. Viola
As a child tending crops on the family farm, John Stokes never dreamed that one day he would be at the center of the Civil Rights Movement. Yet, on April 23, 1951, he and his fellow students walked out of the school and into the history books. Their school was built to accommodate 180 students, yet over 400 black students attended classes in leaky buildings with tar paper walls. A potbelly stove served as the only source of heat, and the school lacked running water, indoor plumbing, and a cafeteria. Yet to Stokes and his fellow students, it was their path to a better life. Students on Strike is an evocative first-person narrative from a period of radical change in American history.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine (see our full review)

Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn't have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear - speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family. But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn't matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
My Mother the Cheerleader by Robert SharenowThirteen-year-old Louise uncovers secrets about her family and her neighborhood during the violent protests over school desegregation in 1960 New Orleans.When a stranger from the North arrives at her mother's boardinghouse, thirteen-year-old Louise uncovers secrets about her family and her neighborhood during the violent protests over school desegregation in 1960 New Orleans.

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