Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mock Printz: A Summer of Kings

Title:A Summer of Kings
Author:Han Nolan
Review:This excellent book retells the story of the summer of 1963 through the eyes of a young, perceptive, adolescent girl named Esther Young. The summer of 1963 isn't just any summer but an important one, that is, before the Civil Rights Act, during the contention between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, during the protests when the fire department in Alabama turned their hoses on children and before the assassination of JFK. Esther is a privileged white girl from a wealthy playwright's family who lives in Westchester County, NY. She is the black sheep in the family, the one without talent, who was left back in the third grade, and is struggling to find her skills, her identity, and her place in the family and in the world. She gains an insight into the brutality of race relations in the south when an 18 year old African-American boy who is accused of murder in Alabama gets sent up north to stay with her family. As she gets to know him and her crush turns into a real caring bond, she learns about the great sadness and hardship in his life. This book is so touching and more than anything else it is about the characters you as a reader come to care about. They are real people who change and grow as they must make decisions. Unfortunately, they live in "interesting times", and get caught up in a powerful period of time where their decisions have huge ramifications. This is definitely a contender for my Printz list. I loved this book and will look for more by the same author....
Reviewer:Susan Rappaport, Rutherford Public Library

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