Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Midnight Without a Moon (Rose Lee Carter #1)” as Want to Read:
Midnight Without a Moon (Rose Lee Carter #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Midnight Without a Moon

(Rose Lee Carter #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,174 ratings  ·  304 reviews
Rose Lee Carter, a 13-year-old African-American girl, dreams of life beyond the Mississippi cotton fields during the summer of 1955. Her world is rocked when a 14-year-old African-American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. A powerful middle-grade debut perfect for readers who enjoyed The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Brown Girl Dreaming.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,174 ratings  ·  304 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Midnight Without a Moon (Rose Lee Carter #1)
Linda Williams Jackson
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So, I finally decided to rate my own book. Here is why I gave it 5 stars:

1. It's a book that I have wanted to write for over 15 years. I heard so many endearing stories about my grandfather that I wanted to write a book about my family's life in the Mississippi Delta. I only knew my grandfather "Papa" for a few short years. He died when I was five. But I can still remember vividly standing at his knee and chatting with him. I was a very shy child and rarely talked to anyone. I chatted with Papa
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I rarely read a book twice, and hardly ever three times. But every once in a while, a book comes along that makes me re-think everything. A book that brings a new perspective to life, to history, to what I thought I knew about the past.

MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON has done that for me. As a critique partner for Linda Jackson, I’d read this manuscript twice before it went to print. And tonight I finished reading it for a third time as an ARC. I have cherished it Every. Single. Time.

This novel is:
Michele Knott
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
What fascinates me about historical fiction is what I learn from it. So frequently, I learn something about our history that was not taught to me in school. I find I am constantly learning how naive I am.

This story brings us to the mid-1950s in rural Mississippi. Freedom Summer is almost a decade away. Jim Crow laws are in effect and being staunchly upheld. Yet, many African Americans were living in what I felt like more were slavery times. Outhouses were still being used. There was a strong fee
Mississippi Library Commission
This book is AMAZING! Jackson pulls readers into the world of the Mississippi Delta from the first page and doesn't let go until the very end. While the book centers on Rose Lee and her family, readers will glean a lot of Mississippi Civil Rights history along the way. Emmett Till, his murder, and the subsequent trial are key to the story, but George Lee, T.R.M. Howard, and Medgar Evers also come into play. MWAM explores the opposition the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi faced, not only fro ...more
Dylan Teut
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy smokes! This was one heck of a read... characters you could laugh with, cry with, and get downright furious with. And the ending... so full of hope and promise. Outstanding!
Ruth Lehrer
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I received a free ARC of this 2017 middle grade book. My first thoughts after reading MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON—What prizes can I nominate this book for? When's the movie coming out? I've had the opportunity to read a lot of ARCs this past year but none of them affected me the way this did. I loved the meaning behind the title (no spoilers because it was such a beautiful moment when Jackson first mentions it.)

Set in 1950s Mississippi, the story of 13-year-old Rose Lee Carter is so vivid it is like
La La
3.5 stars on the blog.

If this book had been as vibrant in the first half as it was in the back half I would have wanted to give it six stars, but the first 45% was dull, dry, and draggy. I always worry about a book meant for MG and younger age YA readers taking so long to become fully engaging because it will get dropped like a hot potato, and never finished. In the case of this book, that would be a shame.

The author gives an authentic depiction of what it was like growing up, of color, in the A
Lois Sepahban
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to read an ARC of MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON.

After reading the synopsis, I knew this was a book for me--middle grade historical fiction is my favorite. This book delivered from the first page. Beautiful writing, a story that is important, characters who are relatable, in particular thirteen-year-old Rosa.

Huge recommendation. I can't wait to put this book into many hands.
Jade Melody
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

What a random find in the middle grade/young adult section of Half Price Books. I'm glad that the title and spine of the book intrigued me enough that I picked it up and ended up taking it home with me that day.

Rose Lee Carter, a 13-year-old African-American girl, dreams of life beyond the Mississippi cotton fields during the summer of 1955. Her world is rocked when a 14-year-old African-American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this awesome novel by Linda Williams Jackson. This is a very powerful book with an important story that needs to be shared with young people. More than any other book I've ever read on the civil rights movement, this book pulled me right into the world of African American sharecroppers living in Mississippi in 1955. Told from the point of view of thirteen-year-old Rose Lee Carter, who lives with her grandparents, her younger brother, and her cousin in a sm ...more
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

It's always exciting when the very first book you read in the New Year is an instant favorite magnificent work you will be pushing at everyone you see for the foreseeable future. Midnight Without a Moon, the debut novel by Linda Williams Jackson, is such a book for me. Prepare to hear about this book for months to come.

It is summer of 1955 in Mississippi and Rosa Lee Carter lives with her grandparents, brother, and cousin on a wealthy whi
Jessica Lawson
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the powerful story of Rose Lee Carter (although you find out a slight twist on her first name near the end) and her journey of finding her strength and purpose in a Jim Crow South on the verge of changes, set against fourteen-year-old Emmett Till's murder and trial (among other tragic, bigoted crimes). Vividly drawn characters and scene-setting will put readers right there with Rose, bursting with anger and sadness about the injustices she witnesses and endures, and struggling to make a ...more
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This would have been a two-star book, but it got an extra star because the subject matter is important.

Here's what didn't work:

1. The dialect: Using dialect in written dialogue helps establish character and denote time and place. Here, however, it was heavy-handed and more distracting than illuminating.

2. Rose: She spent the entire book wanting nothing more than to leave her small Mississippi town, but, at the very end, with no real explanation, she chooses to stay.

3. Rose's name: In a book abou
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! Midnight Without a Moon takes place during the time of Emmett Till. Maybe you recall the horrific story of this African American boy who was killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. His murderers were acquitted.

Just one town over from where Emmett was killed, lives Rose Lee Carter. She is biding her time, planning to move north as soon as possible so she can get away from the mistreatment and oppression of the white plantation owners.

I loved this story because it
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews-by-lynn
The story of Emmett Till is one that is pivotal in the beginnings of the civil rights movement but is not often included in histories geared to younger audiences.

I first became acquainted with it when a college professor assigned me to read a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction about the same event, by the same author. (In case you were wondering, I read Mississippi Trial, 1955 and Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe.) I was both shocked and morb
Whew. What a powerful book.

Readers will feel what Rose feels during this book - tension, curiosity, struggle, fear, hope. And the history. So much history is wrapped up in this book and necessitates reflection and application to today's chaos, too.

This book is labeled as middle grade, but for upper middle ages 10+. I definitely recommend those around 10-12 years old reading it with teachers/parents to discuss a lot of the very hard (very real) things in the book. This will definitely be a book
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book will teach you more about the civil rights movement than any history text book. Not about the historical events but about the lives of African Americans in Mississippi. I appreciate more the courage needed to question the system, protest, register to vote... and the many reasons people were pushed to find that courage.
Rose/Rosa is a fabulous character. I loved watching her grow and develop more strength. It would be wonderful for the author to write a book featuring an adult Rosa.
Ashley Blake
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This story is a lovely, sometimes brutal portrait of 1955 Mississippi and a black girl trying to figure out how to survive, how to fight, how to love who she is. It blends a fictional family struggling in the south with the factual accounts of the south during this time, specifically the Emmett Till trial. It's raw and real, the language visceral and piercing. Beautiful and eye-opening.
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely historical fiction about Jim Crow-era Mississippi. I loved the glimpse into Rose's internal struggle between her desire to leave and pursue her dreams and her desire to stay and fight for her home. Jackson's writing shines - you really feel like you're there with the characters.
I had no idea that there will be a follow-up to this impressive debut until I logged on to Goodreads to write my review. Although I was satisfied with how Midnight Without a Moon ended, I was also curious to see what would happen to all the characters and what part in the nascent civil rights movement they would take. Now it looks as though some of my questions will be answered. In this book, thirteen-year-old Rose Lee Carter lives in the Mississippi Delta in 1955 with her grandparents, Papa and ...more
Ms. Jackson's debut is a heartfelt account of life in 1950s Mississippi for a young African-American girl. Some parts were tough to read because the history of race relations in our country is so ugly, but it taught me a lot of things I didn't know before and gave me a whole new perspective. Rose Lee Carter is such a strong, voice driven character that the pages flew by while I was reading this. I certainly hope to see more from this author in the future!
Karen Fortunati
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This powerful, nuanced and brilliant debut should be required reading in middle and high school. Jackson nails the brutality and layered intricacies of racial prejudice with stunning, lyrical prose. I fell in love with Rosa, a thirteen year old growing up in Jim Crow-ruled south, as she anguished over her hopes for a future. Jackson submerges us in Rosa's world - the sights, sounds and feel of Mississippi in 1955 - come alive. This is the kind of story that resonates and stays with you. Classic. ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own

I really enjoyed this, part of me felt like it was going all over the place. It worked for the most part, not my favorite southern set book, but still great depth and message in this.
Kelly Hager
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rose and her younger brother live with their grandparents (their mom and stepfather are raising his children, not hers, because four kids are too much for her mom to handle). It's 1955 Mississippi and all Rose wants is to escape. She doesn't know where and she doesn't care, but 1955 Mississippi is no place to be unless you're white. Her grandparents are more go along to get along, but her best friend Hallelujah is more inclined to fight for change. And seeing as how this is set during the summer ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rose Lee Carter is thirteen-years-old in the summer of 1955 living in the Mississippi Delta with her brother Fred Lee and beautiful older cousin Queen. Rose spends the summers caring for the cotton on Papa’s farm and dreaming of heading north to Chicago to join her mother and her mother’s new husband and family. North where whites and coloreds live together. North where Rose can get a better education and someday become a rich doctor, lawyer or teacher and help out her family. North where Rose’s ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rose Lee Carter is a smart, resourceful girl in 1950's Mississippi. She lives with her grandparents and spends her days picking cotton. She dreams, too - of school, of college, of moving north. She is also one of the most memorable characters I have ever encountered.

There is so much that I loved about this story. The way the author weaves in history and actual events. The characters: Rose, Queen, Pa - I felt like I was getting a glimpse into an actual family. The voice. Oh, the voice! You will b
Rebecca Carvalho
This is a book I knew I'd love from the beginning, and now that I'm done reading it, I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. In fact, it mesmerized and awed me. Linda Jackson's writing is vivid, raw, and naturally literary... I must confess I cried a few times.

The main character (Rosa--or Rose--Lee Carter) is a young black girl experiencing growing up in 1950s Mississippi. Her life is tremendously difficult, and still she is willing to fight and to approach everything with curiosity. Her struggl
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a very powerful book about a young girl who dares to see the world differently. The writing is beautiful with thought-provoking lines that made me pause just to take them in.

I will note that there are some tough themes in this book as it realistically portrays the time period. Adult support might be a good idea for younger children in the age range who might need to discuss the book's events.

The author has done a great job of telling an important story and everything from the title to t
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a terrific read! Set in Jim Crow Mississippi, Rose Lee Carter is a 13 year old girl living with her sharecropper grandparents. The novel revolves around the efforts of the NAACP to register black voters and the white supremacist violence that follows. Linda Williams Jackson also uses the Emmett Till case to illustrate the realities of living in Mississippi as a black person. Rose Lee has a strong sense of herself and is determined to make it out. Full of great writing, characters and a ...more
Beckie Hopkins
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: clean-teen
One of the best books I've read in a while. Mrs. Jackson writes in a way that makes you feel what her characters are feeling. I laughed, cried, and even gasped a couple of times while reading. I can't wait for the sequel in January.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Someday Birds
  • Tree Girl
  • Clean Getaway
  • Crossing Ebenezer Creek
  • Brutal
  • A Good Kind of Trouble
  • Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
  • Under the Broken Sky
  • Ghost Boys
  • My Jasper June
  • Lucky Broken Girl
  • Lifeboat 12
  • The Shepherd's Granddaughter
  • My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Amina's Voice
  • Ruth and the Green Book
  • The Stars Beneath Our Feet
See similar books…
Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta in the teeny-tiny town of Rosedale , Linda Williams Jackson likes to spin stories about everyday people in small-town settings. Though she has lived in a few other states (Alabama, Missouri, and Kansas), Linda currently makes her home in a not-so-small city in Mississippi with her husband and three children.

While a degree in Math and Computer Science from t

Other books in the series

Rose Lee Carter (2 books)
  • A Sky Full of Stars (Rose Lee Carter #2)

News & Interviews

Last year, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen struck a chord with her viral article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.”...
93 likes · 16 comments
“Stars shine brighter in the darkness.” 8 likes
“Rosa Lee," he said, "with the privilege to vote—to choose—we can change things, even put our own people in power.” 6 likes
More quotes…