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Dreamland Burning Hardcover – February 21, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Latham follows up Scarlett Undercover with a rich work that links past and present in a tale that explores racial prejudice. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death. As she digs into the mystery, Rowan's contemporary perspective alternates with that of another Tulsa teen: Will, a 17-year-old in the 1920s. Though separated by decades, the characters' lives intersect as the mystery of the skeleton unfolds in both time periods. Race, social inequalities, and entitlement are subjects the teens grapple with as they enter adulthood, Rowan in the current day and Will during the Tulsa race riots of 1921. Latham's enthralling, expertly paced plot will keep readers engaged, and the detailed imagery creates a strong sense of place in both time periods. The occasional mature language is deftly integrated and realistic for both the situations and the protagonists, who are relatable and well-developed. VERDICT Mystery fans will enjoy this cleverly plotted, suspenseful work, while the broader social issues will draw a wide audience. Educators will also find this title useful as a selection for discussion and cross-curricular lessons.—Tiffeni Fontno, Boston College Educational Resource Center
* "Latham masterfully weaves together the story of two well-off, mixed-race teenagers--Rowan, in the present, and Will, who lived in Tulsa in 1921--in this fast-paced, tension-filled look at race, privilege, and violence in America... This timely story gives readers an unflinching look at the problem of racism, both past and present, while simultaneously offering the hope of overcoming that hatred."
―Booklist (starred review)
* "Enthralling, expertly paced."―School Library Journal (starred review)
"Latham thoughtfully asks readers to consider the responsibilities of a witness; what it is like to be biracial when belonging to one group is paramount; and about whether saving one person can make a difference in the broader context of society's racial problems."―The Horn Book
"Latham's research for this novel is evident. The historical period is richly detailed, offering a window into the racial inequalities and hatred that divided this community."―VOYA
"Wrapped in a detective tale, this is a thoughtful look at racial issues, an exciting whodunit, and a fascinating glimpse into Tulsa history."―School Library Connection
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EVERYONE should read this. What an amazing novel. Written in dual perspectives, this story chronicles a history of racism in America, beginning with the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (an event that I literally knew NOTHING about before reading). What is so brilliant about this novel is the seamless manner of connecting our present to the misdeeds of our past. Absolutely wonderful.
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