Kusaimamekirai's Reviews > Dreamland Burning

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction-america
Read 2 times. Last read March 8, 2017 to March 10, 2017.

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 house her parents are building. How this relates to the parallel story of 17 year old William who lived 100 years earlier is difficult to ascertain at first but as the story progresses, their lives intersect at an alarming rate. The story they tell is as harrowing and gut wrenching as anything I've read in young adult fiction. I'm honestly quite surprised the author was able to find a publisher willing to gamble on such an obscure event in American history considering so much of young adult fiction now is dominated by stories of magic, superheroes, or romance. There is none of that here. Just some courageous (although sadly more than a few not) young people making life and death decisions when adult choices cause their lives to spiral out of control.
At it's heart, this is a story about history. And that no matter how much people may have invested in whitewashing the sins of the past, those sins have a way of finding their way back home.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 25, 2017 – Shelved
February 25, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
March 8, 2017 – Started Reading
March 8, 2017 –
21.0% "This is a really interesting story told from two different perspectives and eras about the Tulsa race riot of 1921."
March 8, 2017 –
March 9, 2017 –
March 10, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 2, 2017 – Shelved as: fiction-america

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