Monday, February 13, 2017

MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON by Linda Williams Jackson for Diversity Monday and Black History Month


Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson (January 3, 2017, HMH Books for Young Readers, 312 pages, for ages 10 and up)

Synopsis (from the publisher): It's Mississippi in the summer of 1955, and thirteen-year-old Rose Lee Carter can't wait to move north, following in the footsteps of her mama and her aunt. But for now, she's living with Ma Pearl and Papa, her grandparents, who are sharecroppers on a cotton plantation. Though she's heard bits and pieces about the civil rights movement, Rose is more interested in leaving the South than in changing it.

Then, one town over, a fourteen-year-old African American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. When the killers are unjustly acquitted, Rose realizes that the South needs a change but she doesn't know if she should be part of the movement.

Why I recommend it: Oh, there is so much to recommend here: an honest young-teen voice, authentic dialogue, memorable characters, and descriptions so fine you can just see the house Rose lives in, taste the butter beans, and feel the summer heat. After only a few pages, I felt as if Rose was a real 13-year-old, telling me her story. This is one of those novels you don't read so much as you inhabit, and you may find yourself walking around in Rose's shoes for a few days, justifiably angry at the terrible events of 1955. Even though this is historical fiction, it's absolutely relevant today, considering the state of the union.

Favorite lines: "The sun beat down on me like I owed it money from six years back. Sweat dripped in my eyes so bad that I couldn't tell cotton from weeds..."

Bonus: An excellent discussion-starter for classroom units about the Civil Rights movement. Plus, there's a sequel, A Sky Full of Stars, coming in January 2018!

Linda's website

Follow Linda on Twitter: @LindaWJackson

Read this moving guest post by Linda on Caroline Starr Rose's blog.

In honor of Black History Month, what's your favorite historical novel about the Civil Rights movement?


12 comments:

  1. This sounds amazing! I'm going to look for it.

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    1. It's truly inspiring, Andrea. Hope you do get a chance to read it.

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  2. What a great sounding book. The only other one I can remember like this was one I actually stumbled across at a garage sale: THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM. It was a very good MG story.

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    1. I've read that too, Greg, and it's an equally important book about a similar subject. I actually thought of Curtis's book while I was reading this!

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  3. LOL I've got to get this book just for the butter beans. My husband's family has been regifting a can of butter beans since the 1990s...don't ask!

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  4. This sounds like such a fantastic story. So glad you featured it.

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  5. I really want to get to this book soon. I love the cover and the story sounds so compelling. Thanks for the review.

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    1. I love the cover too, Rosi. But it's what inside that really counts!

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  6. I hadn't heard of this one- but I will be checking it out. I enjoy HF and this one sounds very important! Two of my favorite MG HF books are: Walking to the Bus Rider Blues and the Belle Teal.

    ~Jess

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    1. The more I read kidlit, the more I love historical fiction. And I haven't read either of those. Thanks for the suggestions!

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.