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Susan Marcus Bends the Rules

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  33 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
When ten-year-old Susan Marcus discovers a world of prejudice right in her own back yard she makes a small but courageous stand in this irresistibly appealing historical novel set in 1943.
Hardcover, 108 pages
Published March 14th 2014 by Holiday House (first published January 31st 2014)
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Ms. Yingling
Mar 18, 2014 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
Susan and her family move from New York City to Missouri when the company he works for goes out of business in 1943. A small town in the South is a big change, and when Susan realizes that she won't be allowed to be friends with Loretta just because Lorretta is black, she is angry. Her friends Liz and Marlene think that this is fairly normal, just like the fact that black people can't go to the pool, movies or live in the same buildings as white people do. When Susan investigates, she finds out ...more
Karen Arendt
This was a descriptive and thoughtful story of segregation. Susan lives in NYC in 1943, but her father lost his job. The family moves to Missouri where they encounter prejudices against Japanese, Jews, and blacks. They also experience segregation and Jim Crow laws that they had little exposure to in New York. Susan doesn't really understand why there is this segregation and plots to shake up the town by bending the Jim Crow laws. What I enjoyed most about the story is the time spent describing ...more
Alex Baugh
Feb 03, 2014 Alex Baugh added it
Shelves: world-war-2
It all happened because of the war. If it hadn't been for the war, Susan Marcus's dad wouldn't have lost his job when his boss's son was killed in action. And Susan wouldn't have had to move to St. Louis, Missouri because of her dad's new job, leaving behind her best friend Marv and his sister Rose in the Bronx, probably never to see them again.

And when they got to St. Louis, it didn't seem like their were any kids on her new block until one day there was knock on the door, a girl her age beari
...more
Angie
Oct 11, 2014 Angie rated it liked it
Susan Marcus is leaving New York and heading to St. Louis, Missouri. It is 1943 and the family is moving so her dad can start a new job. Living in St. Louis is much different than New York. Susan has a hard time accepting the Jim Crow laws of Missouri. She doesn't like the fact that her new friend Loretta can't go to the movies, the swimming pool or to restaurants just because she is black. Susan, Loretta and Marlene concoct a plan to fight Jim Crow when they realize that public transportation ...more
Barbara
When the war (WWII) causes ten-year-old Susan Marcus and her family to relocate from New York City to Clayton, Missouri, Susan hates leaving everything and everyone familiar behind her. Things are different in her new home, and it's almost as though no one remembers that the war is being fought. The town is hot, and her neighbors seem to dislike New Yorkers. When Susan becomes friends with Loretta, an African-American girl who lives secretly in the same building, she faces prejudice toward the ...more
Teresa Bateman
Mar 11, 2014 Teresa Bateman rated it really liked it
It's 1943 and ten-year-old Susan Marcus and her family have moved from New York City to small town Missouri. Lots of things are different here. Susan needs to make new friends and try to fit in. She tries to tame her New York accent, but her New York upbringing balks at the Jim Crow laws in effect in her new town, and the prejudice she sees against people of different ethnicities. Her own Jewish family comes in for a little of it as well. She makes friends with a Negro girl. (Yes, that is the ...more
Lynn
Dec 20, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it
In addition to a new school and new friends when her family moves to Missouri during WWII, Susan must also learn dialect and segregation laws. She embraces the dialect, but not the segregation and finds a way to ‘bend the rules’ just a bit - making this a great read aloud for fourth graders.

We are never told her family is Jewish until ‘the grandmothers’ make a statement. There are few hints beforehand, the first being that she had never had a friend who had worn a cross - which makes us ponder
...more
Diane
Jul 02, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
"I would love to do something against old Jim Crow, but I don't know what."

It's 1943 and Susan's dad has lost his job. So, the family is forced to move from New York to Missouri. It's hard leaving her friends behind. Even more difficult, Susan is a huge Yankees fan and she's moving to Cardinal territory. It's better to just not talk about baseball. The people in Missouri sound much different than New Yorkers, too. Susan is determined to sound like them before school starts. But most difficult of
...more
Michelle  Simpson
This book provides an interesting view into the lives of Americans in the Central U. S. during World War II. Susan's family is forced to leave New York City and move to St. Louis when her father loses his job. She must cope with not only the typical changes that come along with living in a different part of the country, but she faces a type of prejudice that she has never seen. Along with a couple of friends, she sets out to take a stand for equal rights.

I enjoyed the historical nature of the st
...more
Martha
Mar 22, 2014 Martha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine
During World War II Susan Marcus' father loses his job in NYC. The family moves to St. Louis, Missouri where a job is waiting for him. The suburb of their new home seems friendly at first, but soon words of prejudice are whispered around town about blacks(most of the town is still segregated), Jews, and Japanese. Susan is a 10 year old city girl who has never been exposed to these injustices before. She befriends bubbly blond Marlene, and Loretta an African American who is direct and aware ...more
Rebecca
Feb 13, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was ok
In 1943, 10 year old Jewish girl Susan Marcus has to move with her family from NYC to Missouri when her father changes jobs. Things are pretty different in the south, with the Jim Crow laws in action, and they make no sense to Susan. When she befriends an African-American girl, Loretta, Susan and her other new friend Marlene determine to bend the Jim Crow laws as far as they can.

Blah. This was a bland book with little action, and is too young for middle school. Other books have done this so much
...more
Michelle Kidwell
Nov 21, 2013 Michelle Kidwell rated it it was amazing
Susan Marcus Bends the Rules
(C) Jane Cutler
2014

During World War Two Susan Marcus moves from New York to St Louis Missouri, where she learns that segregation is the law in that state. White's and Coloreds can't live together in the same building.

Susan Marcus and her friends decide that it is time to Integrate St Louis, starting with a Chinese Restaurant, so they bring there Colored Friend Loretta over for a lunch. It's a small step but something that they feel needs to be done.

This is a great boo
...more
Ms. B
Jun 11, 2014 Ms. B rated it liked it
What I liked best about this book is that author Jane Cutler is able to deliver a message about segregation and integration without sounding preachy.
New Yorker Susan's family has just moved to the south for employment for her father. At it's simplest, this is the story of 3 girls; Susan, Marlene, and Loretta who become friends during the summer of 1943 in a suburb of St. Louis. Dig deeper, this book is much more as Susan learns that times are tough for many and not only her own family.
This wil
...more
Yapha
Oct 27, 2015 Yapha rated it liked it
When Susan Marcus moves from New York City to St. Louis, Missouri in 1943, she finds much more to be concerned about than that the Cardinals beat the Yankees in the last World Series. As she begins to make friends the summer before 5th grade, she encounters both casual prejudice as well as the institutionalized prejudice in the form of the Jim Crow laws. Knowing in her heart that these are wrong, Susan sets out to bend the laws, if not outright breaking them. Recommended for grades 4-6.
Gail Shipley
Jul 30, 2015 Gail Shipley rated it really liked it
Short easy read about prejudice during WWII in Missouri. Characters find prejudice of blacks, Jews, New Yorkers, and Japanese Americans. Shows the courage of a young girl and her friends who take a stand against the Jim Crow laws. Great for discussion of how each person can change society for the better.
Moira
May 03, 2014 Moira rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
I really liked this book. The setting, in terms of time and location, seemed totally believable and the flow was just so natural. I loved that it was about dealing with prejudice but not in a heavy-handed, overly dramatic way. Really a lovely book!
Jacqueline
Apr 22, 2014 Jacqueline rated it really liked it
Nice historical fiction. I liked the internal voice of Susan as she observed her new surroundings. The portrayal of prejudice was clear without overwhelming the story.
Charlene
Charlene rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2015
Jo Beth
Jo Beth rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2014
Susan
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Jul 19, 2015
Susan DuBose
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Jul 19, 2015
Becca Rennard
Becca Rennard rated it it was ok
Oct 26, 2016
David Stockton
David Stockton rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2014
Lynne H.
Jun 18, 2015 Lynne H. rated it it was ok
Great story of friendship during civil rights times.
Debbie
Debbie rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2014
Dianah
Dianah rated it liked it
Dec 16, 2013
Julie Williams
Julie Williams rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2014
Catheen Fish
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Feb 06, 2015
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