Saturday, January 19, 2019

My Year in the Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver

My Year in the Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver, 288 pages. Candlewick Press, 2018. $16. 

Language: G; Mature Content: PG (racism); Violence: G.



The year is 1970 and many people in Alabama wish desegregation had never happened. Segregationist George Wallace is running in the Alabama gubernatorial race. Racially, Lu is caught in the middle. Her family is from Argentina, neither white nor black. At school, blacks sit on one side of the room, whites on the other, and a single row of "noncommittals" in the middle.  Lu doesn’t understand the fuss. Her best friend on the track team is black, but her white friend supports Wallace. She's caught in the middle, when all she wants is for everyone to get along.

I found the political aspect of the story fascinating. There is a lot of information about the political process and the two gubernatorial candidates, one for segregation and one against. The author did a great job with details. You get a feel for the racism that still existed a decade after desegregation. I love the white kids in the middle who finally take a stand and move over to the black side of the room, knowing the consequences they might face.

Valerie McEnroe, Media Specialist

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