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- ISBN-13: 9780375869280
- ISBN-10: 037586928X
- Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: January 2012
- Page Count: 304
- Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Historical - United States - 19th Century
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Issues - Prejudice & Racism
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-12-12
- Reviewer: Staff
Adult author Wright, in her first book for children, presents a hard-hitting and highly personal view of the Wilmington race riots of 1898 through 11-year-old narrator Moses. Though the story initially meanders, the pace builds as Wright establishes the Wilmington, N.C., setting, with its large black middle class, and Moses’s family life, which is primarily influenced by his slave-born grandmother, “Boo Nanny,” and his Howard University–educated father, an alderman and a reporter at the Wilmington Daily Record, “the only Negro daily in the South.” Wright sketches a nuanced view of racial tension and inequality from Moses’s sheltered yet optimistic perspective, such as a bike shop’s slogan contest that is only open to white children, or the farmer who fires Moses after he helps another okra picker determine his true pay. A Daily Record editorial ignites racial backlash and catalyzes a series of attacks on hard-won rights, thrusting Moses and his father into the violence of the riots. This thought-provoking novel and its memorable cast offer an unflinching and fresh take on race relations, injustice, and a fascinating, little-known chapter of history. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)