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Dreamland Burning

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  10,172 ratings  ·  1,825 reviews
Some bodies won’t stay buried. Some stories need to be told.

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past, the present, and herself.

One hundred years earlier, a single violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will
Hardcover, 365 pages
Published February 21st 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Jennifer There is a lot of violence. It is about a massacre. The author uses the n-word 3 times and uses derogatory words about Native Americans.

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  10,172 ratings  ·  1,825 reviews

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Jennifer Latham
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Biased? Yes. But in all honesty, this book changed my life :)
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: written-by-women
I have to admit I'm ashamed that I'd never heard of what took place in Tulsa in 1921. Call it what you will a massacre, riot, or a holocaust it was awful and still being pushed under the rug all these years later. Dreamland Burning is part murder mystery part historical fiction and all great. Dreamland Burning is powerful story that will keep you thinking long after you've finished reading. Dreamland Burning is well written and thoroughly researched.

Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge: Book Set in T
Johanna Crystal
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure I can put into coherent words how madly in love I am with this book. I was really fortunate to receive an advanced reader copy of it. Never in my life have I identified with a main character like this. I usually gravitate away from a lot of the popular YA novels because let's be real, I'm a biracial black woman--I can't see myself in a lot of the white dude protagonists.

Jennifer Latham is the type of author I hope to be someday.

She seamlessly wove together the stories of a modern d
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

An historical fiction /mystery story loosely based on on the time of The Tulsa Rasce Riots of 1921. At the heart of this novel is a mystery and it was interesting and entertaining reading.

Seventeen year old Ronan Chase finds a skeleton on her family property and has no idea that investigating the brutal century old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past, the present and herself.

A fast paced read where two stories are told in two different time frames which
Mar 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The dead always have stories to tell. They just need the living to listen.

Some bodies won’t stay buried. Some stories need to be told.

"The lives that ended that night mattered. It was a mistake for this city to try to forget, and it's an even bigger one to pretend everything's fine now. Black men and women are dying today for the same reasons they did in 1921. And we have to call that out Rowan. Every single time.

I thought about Clarence and what I'd done to him. About Joseph and how I'd come to
Aj the Ravenous Reader
I didn't think this would be a very significant read just judging by the cover even though it's definitely pretty. I honestly thought this was going to be a romance involving time travel of some sort making it historical fiction. In truth, there's barely any romance. Definitely my bad.

The writing is amazing, a blend of classic and contemporary with heart and humor despite the heavy themes of the story. Mystery (mainly triggered by the skeleton found at Rowan Chase's property) is also a huge elem
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The timeliness of Dreamland Burning is eerie. The events feel like they come straight from the nightly news or the daily newspaper.
Dreamland Burning alternates between Rowan Chase in present day Tulsa and William Tillman in 1921 Tulsa. Their lives become enmeshed for the reader when a skeleton is found on the Chase property during renovations. Rowan and her friend James begin to investigate.
Will's Tulsa is ruled by Jim Crow laws and the impending arrival of the KKK. The chapters from 1921 lead u
Leah Craig
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my GOD this book. I need time to process before I can fully review.
Fafa's Book Corner
Oct 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Mini review:


I was really looking forward to reading this! I had been hearing a lot of good things about it. When I saw it in my library I didn't hesitate to pick it up. Unfortunately it wasn't for me.

The story had a lot going for it. But what really dragged it down where the odd (and not well done) point of view changes. The minute I started to care about Roman's chapter, we're taken to Will's chapter. I personally found this choppy. I didn't care for either Rowan or Will. They were annoying.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: release-2017
I enjoyed this intriguing book, full of suspense, murder + centuries old Jim Crow. The storyline flashes between it's two main characters flowing easily;
Will Tillman, 17y--Tulsa race riots of 1921
Rowan Chase, 17y--present day, finder of skeletal remains on her families property.

Rowan digs in to solve the mystery of her new discovery while her own life is uncertain. Reading along, I love how the plot asks more questions than provides answers making it hard to put down until it's end. A wonderful
Jun 21, 2020 marked it as unable-to-finish
A novel about the Tulsa race riots interests me but I couldn't get past the first few chapters. Young adult novels are not for me. ...more
mina reads™️

4.5 stars
Superbly written, fast paced, tense and a great look at race, class, privilege and violence. All centered around the Tulsa race riot of 1921. I loved how flawed and at times unlikeable both characters were, I think it’s cool how these two individuals from two wildly different times are unlearning their privilege and making strides to be much better people. Dynamic characters indeed. Also don’t expect a good mystery out of this because it’s not really..that amazing, but the story is good
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hands down one of the best books I've ever read. ...more
anna ♡
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was probably quieter a hundred years ago, but that doesn’t necessarily mean better. I understand now that history only moves forward in a straight line when we learn from it. Otherwise it loops past the same mistakes over and over again.

review: Dreamland Burning is a vibrant, modern told story about the Tulsa race riot.

I steer away from historical fiction because history bores me. The historical story needs to POP at me or I don't see it. But Dreamland Burning accomplished that for me
Thing Two
You know it's a good book when I skip fireworks to finish.

I resisted liking this book, primarily because I thought it was YA, and I don't generally enjoy YA books. This is YA only because the protagonists--it's a story told in two parts, present and past--are both 17. The situations they face are adult-not sexual, but definitely grown-up.

The story opens with Rowan, the 17-yo daughter of two busy professional parents living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's summer vacation, and mom has set her up with a
Nicole M. Hewitt
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In short, I loved this book and thought that it did a fantastic job of bringing attention to race relations--both how far we've come and how far we still have to go.

You can check out the full dual review that I posted (along with AJ from Read All the Things) on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via BEA 2016 in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Megan C.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars --- A solid story with some flaws in execution. I enjoyed it once I allowed myself to focus more on the story and overlook some stylistic choices that irked me. The second half was MUCH stronger than the first half. Full review coming soon!
Jan 08, 2022 rated it did not like it
C/W:(view spoiler)

Dreamland Burning is a challenging book to review in a lot of ways. The prose was propulsive from the first page but couldn't quite distract from the number of large problems I had with the story and its execution.

After reading about a 100 pages, I looked up the author in the hopes that knowing the perspective the book
Lucy Stambaugh
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Guys. Guys I NEED to talk to you about this amazing book by a local Tulsa author. It's so good, with twists and turns and an ending that kept me guessing until right before the end. I LOVED how little pieces were tied together. The writing style was different and I loved the very distinct voices of the two narrators. I'm so glad that this subject and unfortunate part of Tulsa's history is getting more attention. ...more

I read this book in less than 2 days, it was that good! I was pretty surprised since it had been such a long time I'd found a book I could not put down.

So let's get started as to why this book is amazing, firstly it has so many diverse characters, which is very important to me personally.

The book has 2 POVs and the first is of a biracial 17-y/o girl (dad is white and mom is african-american). The second is only a biracial 17-y/o boy (dad is white and
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This has been on my TBR for so long and then my eyes caught sight of it on my bookshelf and told me it was time. I didn’t know anything about the events that took place in Tulsa in 1921 so I am so thankful that this book is out in the world to educate everyone. Highly recommend.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thought I'd like this book but I completely fell in love the further I got into it.

The writing is really solid and the two POVs balance out really nicely. I wasn't thinking too deeply about the mystery aspect at first, but as things heated up in William's story I was practically reading the book through my fingers, I was so anxious!

This isn't a typical YA novel - that genre label doesn't really mean much anymore, I don't think, but I was really happy there wasn't any romance, love triangles,
✧ k a t i e ✧
"The lives that ended that night mattered. It was a mistake for this city to try to forget, and it's an even bigger one to pretend everything's fine now. Black men and women are dying today for the same reasons they did in 1921. And we have to call that out, Rowan. Every single time."

Dreamland Burning is a historical fiction novel that follows Rowan, a girl who finds a century-old skeleton in her back yard, and Will, a boy who lives in the segregated town of Tulsa in 1921. In Rowan's chapte
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is as hard to review as it was to finish. A fine story, engaging, highlighting important history.

Not sure if this is categorized as YA or not. It doesn’t have the genre feel of YA, but the language, the simplicity of writing and slipping around quickly from one scene to another, feeling like it’s trying to hold on to short attention spans, makes me think this is book meant for younger readers.

This made it hard for me to stick with it, not for lack of interest in the story but because it f
Sue Dix
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
If I hadn't been told that this was a YA book, I would have sworn that it was an adult historical novel. This book is well written and makes me want to learn more about the era about which it was written. If you like to read books based on actual events, this one qualifies and then some. I really liked the back and forth between the present and the past and the intertwine of the two narrators stories. A really good book that grabs your attention throughout. ...more
Rhyan Mathis
Mar 01, 2022 rated it really liked it
Ok so actually i give this book 3 1/2 starts but for goodreads sake it has 4. The first half was kinda boring but the second half was really good. This book was crazy in a good way. I’ve never actually heard anything about the Tulsa massacre until i started reading this book so that was new. CHARACTER ANALYSIS: Will- great character development, don’t like your community Rowan- ms detective queen👑 Ruby: AHHH I LOVED RUBY SO MUCH Joseph- was the coolest character in the book All the mothers excep ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham is an absolute must read, especially on audiobook. The production is outstanding and Luke Slattery and Pyeng Threadgill are quite talented narrators. It honestly deserves all of the attention it can get. I can't believe I'm just now learning about the real life history behind this novel. How is this now in every American history textbook? Latham expertly alternates between two mixed race teens living in different eras of Tulsa, Oklahoma and explores difficult ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-america
This young adult story centered around the burning of a black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma back in 1921 is quite extraordinary. Told from the alternating perspectives of two teenagers living 100 years apart from each other, we learn not only about the event itself but the simmering racial animosity that seemingly hasn't changed much despite the passage of time.
The story starts in the present day with a 17 year old girl named Rowan who discovers a skeleton under the floorboards of the new hous
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

What an amazing, introspective story about a complex issue which never seems to completely go away. A great YA selection for teenagers and adults alike.

No one ever talked about the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot when I was growing up there in the 1980's. There was a brief mention of it in my Oklahoma History class in high school and I'm pretty sure most of my classmates were as surprised as I was to hear about it. It was just never discussed. It's hard to imagine something of that magnit
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"I'm a grown-up army brat with two kids, two dogs, and a husband. After working in a morgue, a maximum-security prison, a heroin detox, and assorted middle and high schools, I decided to try may hand at writing. Happily, it stuck.

I love watching people.

And I love writing about the characters who live inside my head—even when they don’t play nice."

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“I understand now that history only moves forward in a straight line when we learn from it. Otherwise it loops past the same mistakes over and over again,” 13 likes
“The lives that ended that night mattered. It was a mistake for this city to try to forget, and it’s an even bigger one to pretend everything’s fine now. Black men and women are dying today for the same reasons they did in 1921. And we have to call that out, Rowan. Every single time.” 7 likes
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