Book Unicorn's Reviews > Blackberries Are Red When Green

Blackberries Are Red When Green by Keith Frohreich
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really liked it
bookshelves: to-read

The synopsis promises a story of a young boy who befriends a stranger and their journey together. What it fails to mention is that the stranger is Black! ⠀

And it makes all the difference. ⠀

I plunged in to the story thinking it's 'Anne of Green Gable' - ish, all about a young boy's transition to adulthood surrounded by the tranquility of the rural life. But it turned out to be a sweet story about the black and white communities warming up to each other! ⠀

Such books are a rarity. ⠀

The book is also an immaculate portrayal of the rural farm life of early America. It's very elaborately detailed, everything from the Ole Steely the bridge on the cover ( btw I thought the bridge was cute. It reminds me of a sweet ancient granny) to those 'detestable' pies of Emma! ⠀

One thing that shook me to the core was the level of the animal cruelty. *spoilers* At one point, the boys put a dying maggot infested cat in to a sack and throw it in the river & use it for target practicing 😨 Yeah I know! But 'that's just the nature of the farm life'. ⠀

The other thing that intrigued me was their interest in education. Emma constantly placed importance on the boys' education and she bragged about her own good grades. Kurt was a boy genius. He won the entomology exhibition & took pride in his report card. Meanwhile his older brother was a college graduate. ⠀

There's a lot of history relating to the Black community included in the book. They're all told as stories by Dutch to Kurt. If your head is hitting your history book two minutes in to studying, this book is an interesting way of learning all that. ⠀

My feeling throughout the book was that, the author has lived through this whole experience. It sounds very real. ⠀

It's an excellent read to those looking for something different! ⠀
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Reading Progress

August 30, 2019 – Shelved
August 30, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read

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