This book was one of my favorite's when I read it in my 6th grade class. At first, because of the language, my class giggled and wondered at how we could ever be reading this book in my small, catholic school. Right away my teacher told us to grow up or get out. This is an important book. Some feel it is too detailed and racist to be introduced to such a young crowd. But kids are introduced to these things regardless and usually much sooner than 6th grade whether it be via classmates or their own families. Kids should learn about things such racism, lynching, lying, and everything else parents oppose in this book. They should be taught so they can appreciate people different from themselves. They should be taught so they can understand that although horrible things were done before their time and to this day take place, even if in a different form, they can change how things happen from now on even in small ways. When I was in class reading this, and it was read outloud by the students, my teacher would not let us skip over or censor any words. The swear words we didn't mind saying and smiled to ourselves when we said them. The racist words, and there were so many, made us uncomfortable, nervous, ashamed, sympathetic, and eventually respectful. This book confronts uncomfortable subjects. But uncomfortable subjects usually are the most important.
This title contains:
Positive role models