Tuesday, March 28, 2017

MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON by Linda Williams Jackson. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. 308p. ISBN 978 0544 785106 hc.$16.99   Gr. 5-8    JUV FIC

Rose Lee Carter works around the house and in the fields of her grandparents who are sharecroppers on a Mississippi cotton plantation.  She knows her place in the world is at the bottom rung of every ladder that life has to offer.  Her mother deserted her for a new husband and his children.  Her grandmother, Ma Pearl, favors her light-skinned cousin over her and expects Rose to work hard enough for both of them.  She has an escape at school, where she's an exceptional student, until Ma Pearl threatens to put an end to that also.  On the bright side, Rose has a friend in the preacher's son, Hallelujah, who keeps her apprised of civil rights violations by white families in the state and the activists who are trying to let colored men vote without being killed for their efforts.  There's a lot of history woven into this story of family and community relationships in the deep south of 1955, including the infamous trial and acquittal of the men who killed Emmett Till for allegedly whistling at a white woman.  Rose uncovers some family secrets toward the end of the story and finds the courage to shape her own future.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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