And, of course, Elizabeth and Jessica's paternal family story...I loved this one, too. Thanks to Leann, the random person who friended me, for remindi...moreAnd, of course, Elizabeth and Jessica's paternal family story...I loved this one, too. Thanks to Leann, the random person who friended me, for reminding me of these "special" editions of the SVH series.(less)
A Goodreads friend posted this as read and it reminded me that I probably read this book about 12 times. It tells the story of Jessica and Elizabeth's...moreA Goodreads friend posted this as read and it reminded me that I probably read this book about 12 times. It tells the story of Jessica and Elizabeth's ancestry, basically, through Prohibition, wars, love triangles, rivalries, and mistaken identities (lots of generations of blonde twins to precede J and E, of course!). (less)
A good read--this looks at stereotype threat and identity contingencies--what they are, how we deal with them, and how to overcome them. Initially, I...moreA good read--this looks at stereotype threat and identity contingencies--what they are, how we deal with them, and how to overcome them. Initially, I thought the book would look strictly at race, but there were quite a few gender discussions that arose.
I took some valuable lessons away from this book, and a greater understanding of how my students of color might be dealing with campus life. I read this as part of a discussion group on campus, with 2 women who are my mentors, and I really am looking forward to the remaining meetings.(less)
Great, great book--easy to read, easy to understand, a great primer for those unfamiliar with the late 1950s-early '60s Civil Rights Movement. Lewis'...moreGreat, great book--easy to read, easy to understand, a great primer for those unfamiliar with the late 1950s-early '60s Civil Rights Movement. Lewis' story is interspersed in time, as he tells his background and involvement while he prepares for the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009. I can't wait for the next book(s) and hope they come out soon.
I loved, in particular, that this is Lewis' story and he emphasizes the teamwork and involvement of so many others. Too many people have the impression that the Civil Rights and MLK stories are almost one and the same; this book shows how many others, how many teams of people organized and protested and were involved with the movement (which I knew, though it was nice to see it reinforced for a new generation of readers). I may teach this in my African American lit class in the spring; it would be a great way to open discussion and show how the early Civil Rights Movement worked, especially in contrast to later years and the battles between black separatists and black integrationists. (less)
This was a pretty horrifying look at lynchings and race relations in the south in 1946, when a young white boy, Ansel, and his friend Little Willie mu...moreThis was a pretty horrifying look at lynchings and race relations in the south in 1946, when a young white boy, Ansel, and his friend Little Willie must deal with and are directly confronted with racism at every turn. Ansel, his mother, and mother's friend Esther Davis are sympathetic whites who strongly disagree with the town's views of race--that is, perpetrating the view that blacks are inferior beings, need to be kept in their place, etc. What is horrifying is the character of Zeph Davis III, who is an entitled, supremely racist character who torments Ansel and Little Willie. The drama occurs when Ansel's crush, Mary Susan, is raped and stabbed by Zeph; Big Willie, Willie's father, sees it happen and tells Ansel's father, Bert. Bert knows Zeph is a sociopath and Big Willie is innocent. But for those who read the dedication, you know a lynching is going to happen, and Big Willie is the scapegoat.
Lester makes it clear that Willie probably would have been lynched regardless of what Bert said. The point Lester emphasizes repeatedly is that doing nothing and standing by while an innocent man dies is as wrong as the lynching itself--that Bert could have stood up to Zeph (a young boy), said he believed Big Willie, and allowed Big Willie some peace knowing someone believed in his innocence.
In the afterword, Lester explains that he was approached by a Hollywood director about writing a movie script for a lynching movie. Lester believed that that story was told and wanted to write it from the white child's perspective--how damaging and cruel it is to expose children to the violence and hatred of a lynching. The director wasn't interested, the deal fell through, and Lester wrote this book, complete with an author's note, bibliography, chart, and appendix.
The book is getting three stars because it's too short--there needs to be more--more buildup, more exploration of Ansel's feelings, more understanding of the town's fear of Zeph (he is only 14), just more. Until the lynching happens, I was just wondering who it would be and when, not if it would happen. But, the book is completely realistic and is definitely an unexplored area of young and adult literature--the effects of lynching and that indoctrination on children. A quick read, though one I won't be using in my African American lit class next semester.(less)
I just reread this (it's a quick read) primarily for the chapter on Tom Feelings, an artist and illustrator I studied in graduate school. I have no ap...moreI just reread this (it's a quick read) primarily for the chapter on Tom Feelings, an artist and illustrator I studied in graduate school. I have no aptitude for art, so this is interesting--reading how artists got started, where and how they like to work, what, if anything, inspires them, and so on.(less)
For much of this book, I hated the protagonist, Daisy/Kate. Her given name is Daisy but when she goes to college, she changes her name to Kate so peop...moreFor much of this book, I hated the protagonist, Daisy/Kate. Her given name is Daisy but when she goes to college, she changes her name to Kate so people won't think she's a hippie. Kate is very concerned with what other people think, even telling her twin Violet to reconsider being a lesbian because it would make things easier. Kate is judgmental and a pushover for her crazy twin--for example, Violet quits college and moves into Kate's dorm. Kate is concerned, of course, about what people will think about Vi and sends her on her way. Kate's two children, Rosie and Owen, are annoying as well--Rosie talks in 3rd person, inexplicably, and Kate is overly protective of her children, so much so that she's embarrassed to take Rosie out in public after Rosie falls and scrapes her face (because, you know, kids never fall or hurt themselves).
There could be some interesting exploration of the Daisy/Kate split--the twin personalities, though Sittenfeld doesn't go there. Instead, Sittenfeld focuses on the "senses" that Violet and Kate apparently have, though the evidence provided is flimsy at best that either twin actually has ESP.
I felt Kate was a passive character who could be forgiven some things (i.e. being overprotective and creating clingy children) had she not said such horrible, judgmental things about her sister, neighbor Courtney, or other characters. She passes judgment on her former frenemy (which, in the novel, isn't without justification), but she judges her for being single and childless--a really uncalled for moment on Kate's part. Her superior attitude, despite being a stay-at-home-mom who wasn't distinguished as a student, employee, wife, or citizen, really rubbed me the wrong way. (less)