From Publishers Weekly
When an African-American teen takes on racism in a small Southern town, she is drawn into a relationship with a member of an elitist all-white club. "This insightful novel raises some provocative questions about die-hard traditions," said PW. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10?When Shawna Riley's parents divorce, she leaves Denver and moves with her father back to his hometown of Dessina, Georgia. She soon discovers that the students at Dessina High School are somewhat distant toward newcomers, especially an intelligent and wealthy black girl. Surprised by the segregated activities of this integrated high school, Shawna writes an editorial for the school newspaper asking that the Old South Ball, a tradition for the white students, be open to all. Her editorial results in violent reactions, especially from Kari Lang, a member of an exclusive club for white girls. To make matters worse, Shawna's childhood friend, Marlon, tells her that he is secretly dating Natalie, a white girl who is about to be initiated into the Etoile Club. Shawna's willingness to challenge tradition, and her desire to help Marlon and Natalie reveal their relationship, send her on a journey that ends with an unlikely friendship with Kari. Along the way, Shawna learns something about her father's past that makes her want to continue her efforts toward achieving racial equality and harmony. The conflict of the story is centered around racial prejudice, but first-amendment issues are also evident. Hewett tells the story in third person, which gives readers insight into the minds of all of the characters, creating a clear understanding of the conflict. Teenagers will admire Shawna's strength and courage, and they will hopefully make the connection between free speech and social change. A great novel for discussion.?Pat Scales, Greenville Middle School, SC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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