Hitchcock, Shannon Ruby Lee & Me, 224 pages. Scholastic Press, 2016. $17. Content: G.
When Sarah Beth Willis is 12, she takes her eye off of her little sister, Robin, for a few mintutes and next thing she knows, her sister has been hot by a car. Sarah Beth is sent to live with her grandparents on the outskirts of town while her parents concentrate on her injured sister. There Sarah Beth can see her friend Ruby Lee, who is the granddaughter of Sarah Beth’s grandmother’s African American maid, every day. The two girls reflect the growing pains of America in the 1960’s as they argue about integration, making things very awkward as Sarah Beth gets ready to start six grade in her town’s first integrated school with the town’s first African American teacher. Sarah Beth needs to find the courage to deal with her guilt about her part in Robin’s accident.
While the problems between the two former friends and the introduction of the new teacher play a small part in the narrative, the book really focuses on Sarah Beth and her personal conflicts and growth. The title is misleading in the contribution of Ruby Lee to the story.
EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher