Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Long Ride by Marina Budhos - ADVISABLE

The Long Ride by Marina Budhos, 200 pages. Wendy Lamb Books (Penguin Random House), 2019. $17.

Language: G (0 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG.



It's 1971, and 12yo friends Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are starting 7th grade at the new integrated middle school in a black neighborhood - a long bus ride away. Francesca's parents are sending her to a private school instead, so Jamila and Josie will have to make the best of it without her. They've been attending a school where the population is mostly white, so this will be a change for these mixed race girls - they will probably be outsiders here, too.

 Jamila sparks the interest of a boy, right away, and his friend Darren likes Josie, so there's a good amount of middle school drama, (including a teacher taking Jamila's journal and reading it out loud!) I liked that the girls had no obvious racial connection, and in a time where civil rights were such a focus, I liked that it was hard to pigeon hole them. A nice read that may encourage the reader to look for more information about the subject.  The romance was sweet and the friendships felt real.

Lisa Librarian

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