- File Size: 665 KB
- Print Length: 180 pages
- Publisher: Sky Pony (August 22, 2017)
- Publication Date: August 22, 2017
- Sold by: Simon & Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B071W3CTT4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,775,519 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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Crossing the Line Kindle Edition
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About the Author
—Randall Platt, author of Incommunicado and The Girl Who Wouldn't Die
“‘We have stories to tell,’ Bibi Belford writes in this powerful novel, ‘if we are brave to tell them.’ And I’m so glad to have read this brave story. Crossing the Line tackles tough issues that didn't make sense in Billy's lifetime, and that don't make sense now—and his journey is infused with hope that even the smallest among us can be a catalyst for big change.”
—Beth Vrabel, author of Pack of Dorks and A Blind Guide to Stinkville
“A heart-wrenching, heart-pounding read, set almost a hundred years ago but with themes that still resonate strongly today. The characters are unforgettable, and loyal even as their friendship is tested. A story that will leave you thinking about how you can cross the line.”
—Lisa Ann Scott, author of Back on the Map and School of Charm
"A timely novel . . . Belford deftly walks her own line.” —The Historical Novels Review
"There’s no easy way to solve the problem [of racism] but a start might be to require every fifth grader to read this book. It’s that powerful." —Always in the Middle
“Gritty and real and honest in a way that's still okay for younger readers . . . this is a book that [every pre-teen needs] to read. Honestly, I would say that this is a book that everyone needs to read at some point or another. It's definitely far and away one of the best books I've read this year.”—I Read Till Dawn
“A powerful story of friendship and the cost that can come with doing the right thing . . . Crossing the Line is an excellent read!” —Compass Book Ratings --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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Historical fiction is an enjoyable way to learn history, and this book is packed with history about Chicago in 1919 – the Stockyards, the White Sox (just before they became the Black Sox), the dirigible crash which killed a dozen people in the Loop, the Eastland capsizing disaster which killed 800 people on the Chicago River, and segregation.
The true story it’s based on is this. The great northern migration sent thousands of African Americans from South to North beginning before 1916. The Black Belt of Chicago population of 50,000 nearly doubled during the war, yet no new houses or tenements were built. After Armistice Day, both white and black doughboys returned from the Great War looking for work. The racial tension exploded in Chicago on July 27, 1919. The real Eugene Williams drowned when he was hit with rocks for crossing the invisible color line near 29th St. while floating on a raft between the white beach and the black beach, setting off days of rioting.
In this fictionalized version, Billy learns from his new friend that - “In the South, the hate is floatin’ on top of the water. But in Chicago, the hate is like them rocks in the river. When there’s plenty of water, you can’t see ‘em. But it’s low water now.” The writer portrays a child’s wish for things to be better, but painful recognition of how hard it is to change. The author carries just the right balance of the young “Gol dang” narrative with the harsh reality of segregation.
Bibi Belford is a gifted, empathic storyteller with an uncanny ability to compassionately inhabit the inner world of her characters. What a wonderful read! Buy it for your kids and then sit down and savor it yourself.
I’ll devour everything this author writes.
Her research of the era puts you right into the turmoil going on. The boys struggle with problems and issues that they're too young to solve and your heart aches for them. Bibi Belford brings them alive. She's a gifted writer and I'm waiting for her next book.