Monday, January 4, 2010

Come Juneteenth


Rinaldi, Ann. Come Juneteenth, 233 pgs. Graphia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 2007.
Ratings : PG13 for thematic content ; PG for language, violence, and sexual content.
Luli is raised with Sis Goose, a slave girl who is treated almost like her sister. But when the plantation owners in Texas decide to keep news of the Emancipation Proclamation a secret from their slaves, Luli's family is forced to follow suit. For two years, life proceeds as before, until the news finally reaches Sis Goose and the other slaves. Her trust shattered, Sis Goose runs away from the plantation with a northern soldier. However, when it becomes evident that maybe Sis Goose didn't leave completely willingly, Luli and her brother (Sis's lover) decide to go after her. I found this story very engaging as well as educational about a curious incident in our country's history. Though perhaps too mature for an elementary school setting, this book fits well with the middle school curriculum about the Civil War, will evoke much discussion about attitudes toward blacks, and will be much enjoyed by fans of historical fiction.
MS - Essential.
Reviewed by P.K. Foster, MS teacher-librarian.

No comments: