Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Civil Rights - Middle Grade

Civil Rights Historical Fiction


 Cross-posted from Kiss the Book reviewer's personal blog

11-year-old Delphine is excited to spend the summer in California with her sisters. She quickly learns that her mother has no intention of taking care of them. It’s up to Delphine to be the adult and entertain herself. The Black Panthers movement plays prominently in the story.

This is an autobiographical story written in verse. Woodson’s early years are spent in South Carolina with her grandparents and later in New York with her mother. She describes the cultural differences in her two childhood experiences from a civil rights perspective.

Two brothers growing up in Flint, Michigan during the Civil Rights movement are unaware about what is going on in the south until they drive to Alabama to visit their grandmother. Told from the point of view of the younger brother who is harassed by his older, rebellious brother. Humorous.

Typical of Karen Hesse, this story is written in verse. The Ku Klux Klan has infiltrated a small Vermont town in the 1920s. The story is told through the perspectives of various community members, including a black girl and Jewish girl.

The South is segregated in the 1930s. When Stella and her brother wander outside one night, they stumble upon the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross. Things aren’t getting better after all. They are as segregated as ever.

12-year-old Marlee goes to an all-white school and isn’t into socializing.  When darker skinned Liz shows up, they become instant friends. Liz helps Marlee overcome her fears. Then one day Liz is gone without a word. When Marlee finds out why, the pair are determined to stand up to the injustice.

It’s summer and Glory is excited to swim at the city pool. Word has it that a civil rights group is trying to desegregate the pool, so the city simply closed it to avoid the situation. Glory’s family is sympathetic to the cause, but doesn’t know how involved they should be or what they can do to affect change.


Sophie’s family has just moved to a mostly white upper middle class neighborhood in Los Angeles. She becomes good friends with Jennifer, but most of the white girls deliberately exclude her because of her skin color. When a friend is unfairly arrested in the Watts riots Sophie learns that life is simply not fair if you’re black.

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