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The Long Ride

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  65 reviews
In the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica.

Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  257 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book for ages 10+ held my attention AND educated me. I enjoyed it immensely and learned from age 50! Marina Budhos creates believable, likable characters with inner and outer conflict and she does it with complexity and compassion, with goodness and grace. Budhos tells a story (and truths!) about a period of time that left so many of us wondering, “What in the world will come of this bussing experiment?” and she lets us see into the minds of young people who find themselves feeling ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. In 1970s New York, Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are inseparable. They are all mixed-race, and their families moved into a white neighborhood so their children could attend good schools. However, the city decides to integrate their schools, sending Jamila and Josie to South Jamaica, with Francesca’s parents opting for a private school. Over the course of the year the girls struggle as outsiders in their new school, and also learn harsh realities about prejudice. I flew through this au ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because I could relate to this book.
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it

I'm not sure why I didn't know about this book until this month but I am so happy that I dove into The Long Ride. Mostly because it seems pretty fitting for Black History Month to dive into a book set in the 1970's when segregation was starting to happen in schools. Plus it's in New York where my family is from so it was interesting to see what was going to happen to Jamila, Josie and Francesca throughout this book.

Now these three girls are best friends. They are all mixed-race and they live
hmmm really strong 3.5
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-read, read-jun-19
Copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

While The Long Ride had a cool historical setting and an interesting premise, this book just didn't click for me.

I liked that this middle-grade novel was set in 1970's Queens and that it was about young, mixed girls who take the "long ride" to a school where they are supposed to feel able to fit in more - something that actually happened at this time. Segregation was illegal by the 70's in the US, but schoolchildren of color, like our
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
4.5 Stars

Such an amazing book. So much of this book hit home for me. I rarely see mixed-race characters in books, let alone in contemporaries, and because of that I rarely see my own experiences in media. The Long Ride gets it in one, and really shows the challenges of being mixed race in a time/area where it's not seen as normal. It's wonderfully written and a must-read for adults and young readers alike.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-fiction
Absolutely incredible! Recommended for all readers! Story centers on three young women of color, just on the cusp of young womanhood. The three have been friends for a long while: Francesca is has a parent who is Latinx and one who is white British, Jamila (the narrator) has one parent who is white and one who immigrated from Barbados and is Black, Josie has a Black mother from Jamaica and a Latinx father from Puerto Rico.

While they have always reveled in their shared mixedness, fissures emerge
Oct 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Living in a mostly-white neighborhood in New York City in 1971, Jamila and her best friends Josie and Francesca, all of whom are biracial, have always been close friends. Then the city tries an "experiment" in which the girls are bussed an hour away to attend 7th grade in a black neighborhood, and their relationships begin to shift. Instead of fitting in, Josie and Jamila just feel more different than ever, and Francesca's family sends her to a private school instead. Jamila starts to make some ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was both very relatable in being about middle school life and drama but also very informational about that time and place. A lot of students aren’t going to be familiar with the 1970s in NYC or know much about school desegregation or busing. This gives good insight into that and to what it was like to be multiracial during that time. I also appreciated how the friendship between the three girls was both resilient and realistic.
Llyr Heller-Humphreys
4.5 Beautiful upper middle grade historical fiction about family, race, heritage and finding your path in the world.
Olivia E
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this as a tutoring job so it was very broken up. I think I would’ve liked it more had I read it continuously. Because there are a lot of characters, it was a bit difficult to put myself back into the story every week after a few days of reading something else.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Jamila, Francesca and Josie all live in the Cedar Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York in 1971. For the coming school year, their neighborhood, which is largely white, will be bused to a school which is largely people of color. Since the girls are all racially mixed and somewhat unusual in their neighborhood, Jamila is interested in going to a school where she doesn't stand out for a change, even if her father is concerned about sending his daughter to a "bad" neighborhood. Before school sta ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
“You know, it’s a lot easier to be one side or the other. It’s harder to be in the middle. People don’t like the middle. That’s the bravest thing of all.” (178)

Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are mixed-race best friends living in Queens, NY, in 1971. Their plans for starting seventh grade together with their white neighbors at the local junior high school change when their neighborhood becomes part of a social experiment—integration. Francesca’s parents send her to a private school where she doesn’
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Long Ride by Marina Budhos, 200 pages. Wendy Lamb Books (Penguin Random House), 2019. $17.

Language: G (0 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG.



It's 1971, and 12yo friends Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are starting 7th grade at the new integrated middle school in a black neighborhood - a long bus ride away. Francesca's parents are sending her to a private school instead, so Jamila and Josie will have to make the best of it witho
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
The Long Ride by Marina Tamar Budhos is an exploration of what it means to mixed-race and American. This middle-grade novel zooms in on a school desegregation effort in 70’s Queens, New York. Yet, it’s not history-focused. Author Budhos also delves into navigating the early teens, dealing with first crushes, and maintaining friendships in the midst of changing circumstances.

If you enjoy middle-grade historical fiction and slice-of-life novels, this one may just be right for you.

Read my full revi
This one would be a 3.5 for me. Most young readers will need a lot more historical context about the civil rights movement and integration in order to understand the social experiment of integration through busing being described here. I always enjoy this author's books and her willingness to tackle tough topics or explore parts of history that haven't been covered thoroughly in children's books. The story focuses on the academic year of 1971-1972 when Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are seventh gr ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

While it felt genuinely well-intentioned, this book fell very flat for me.


The main character’s voice was very authentic. I liked the concept of dealing with segregation and mixed-race kids, and I thought addressing school system issues and middle graders was a great idea.

I was confused by most the book. The plot really went nowhere; the book ends exactly where it starts,
Laura Gardner
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 for THE LONG RIDE by @mbudhos

I love perusing the shelves at my local public library. Sometimes I get lucky and find a title I haven't heard of and it turns out to be amazing. The Long Ride by Marina Budhos is a slim #mglit book about three interracial girls in 1971 who are affected by school desegregation via busing. Jamila, Josie and Francesca live in a a mostly white neighborhood in Queens, NY, but all three are mixed race. When the busing experiment is announced, families in their neig
Lately I've been noticing more middle aged or senior couples in interracial marriages than I have in the past, and I often wonder if they are later in life matches,or if these are some of the long-married couples who paved the way for families like my own. And then I've wondered what life has been like for them and their families, how they were received in their communities. I only had one good friend in childhood who had a white dad and a black mom, and my family moved away before we reached ad ...more
Michelle Kidwell
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Long Ride
by Marina Budhos

Random House Children’s

Wendy Lamb Books

Children’s Fiction

Pub Date 24 Sep 2019

I am reviewing a copy of The Long Ride through Random House Children’s/ Wendy Lamb Books and Netgalley:

Jamila Clarke, Josie Rivera and Francesca George are three mixed race girls are close friends whose parents all immigrated to the U.S working hard so they could settle down in a neighborhood with the best schools. The girls are outsiders but they have each other until In the tumult of 1970s
Debbie Tanner
It pains me greatly to call this historical fiction, because I'm about the same age as the girls in the story, who are going into middle school in 1971. These three girls, Jamila, Josie, and Francesca have been best friends their whole lives. But they are going to be bussed to a different neighborhood for racial equality. Francesca's parents decide to put her into private school but Jamila and Josie go for a 45 minute bus ride each way each day to get to school. They don't know anyone so they're ...more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's 1971, and 12-year-old friends Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are starting 7th grade at the new integrated middle school in a black neighborhood - a long bus ride away. Francesca's parents are sending her to a private school instead, so Jamila and Josie will have to make the best of it without her. They've been attending a school where the population is mostly white, so this will be a change for these mixed race girls - they will probably be outsiders here, too.

Jamila sparks the interest of a
Aliza Werner
A topic with so much potential exploring the dynamics and outcomes of a school busing program to tackle educational segregation. The concept is both historical and topical, however the story itself fell flat for me. With the 3 main characters’ cultures/ethnicities quickly explained in the first chapter I had trouble keeping track of them and the many secondary characters. For young readers to understand the racism and othering occurring, they need a deeper dive into negative experiences of th
Three bi/multi-racial girls have all been best of friends in their neighborhood school in NYC in the 1970's but a new integration plan has them taking the bus to a school over an hour away. One girl's parents decide to have her go to a private school nearby instead. The other two endure the bus ride and swear to maintain their friendship. However, one of the girls is drawn in by the Latinx crowd and the other slowly becomes friends with a boy but they can only be friends at school.

Girls are in m
Read  Ribbet
For me, the Wendy Lamb imprint is a sign of a well written (and edited) book for readers. In this case, Marina Budhos chooses to use the back drop of the integration and desegregation of schools in the 1970s to tell the stories of three junior high age biracial women who are selected to be bussed from their familiar neighborhood to a new a school intentionally integrated. One actually chooses a private school option, as the other two enroll in the new school. Budhos is wise to look through these ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
Three friends are moving towards adolescence. About to enter middle school they are counting on each other to help face all the expected changes. But it is unexpected changes that shape their seventh grade year. Like other cities, New York has instituted busing to address inequities and segregation. One friend’s parents make the decision to send her to private school. One friend is dropped from the advanced track and our narrator, Jamila finds herself isolated and having to make sense of adult r ...more
Sandy O'Brien
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Oh, darlin’, when you going to learn: Most people never change. It’s the world around them that changed.”
Summer of 1971.
Jamila, Josie, and Francesca have just found out that they will be bussed to a school in another neighborhood for integration. The trio decides they will face this new school year head on together, but things don’t go as planned. Friendships become strained. Relationships change. They begin to see each other and those around them in a different light. Will they be able to navi
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
* Review is of an advanced reader copy

A semi interesting novel about school integration and friendship. Set in New York City in 1971, The Long Ride does a good job of portraying the positive and negative effects of school integration to an audience most likely unfamiliar with the concept. Additionally, author Marina Tamar Budhos has accurately captured the changing dynamics many friendships face as tweens become teens and their interests and lifestyles began to veer in different directions.
Emily Waisanen
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was privileged to read an ARC of this through the #LitReviewCrew group. What a beautifully told story. I believe Budhos does an incredible job creating the tension and drama of middle school life among three friends, while also introducing the historical drama of integration of students in schools in 1971. This book would pair perfectly with Blended by Sharon Draper. I look forward to adding this book to my classroom. The subject matter and the length are appealing to middle school students.
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Marina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Her most recent novel is the middle grade novel The Long Ride. Previously she published Watched, which received an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature YA Honor and a The Walter Award Honor. Her other novels include Tell Us We're Home, a 2017 Essex County YA Pick and Ask Me No Questions, recipient of a James Cook Teen Book ...more

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