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 have each other.
Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to "mix up the black and white kids." Their parents don't want them to be experiments. Francesca's send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her.
While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy — but it's a relationship that can exist only at school. This book is a thoughtful look at the experience of kids caught in a changing society — and by people who aren't all happy with the change.
"Bolstered by a warm family life, Jamila copes with the emotional turbulence of being 12 and trying to fit in, along with the larger struggles of a new environment and the swelling undercurrent of anger that occurs both at school and in her own community. Budhos creates a cast of sympathetic and credible characters — both adults trying to do the right thing and children caught in the middle of a social 'experiment' — in this compassionate and thoughtful depiction of families grappling daily with the inequities of a changing society." — Publishers Weekly
|Recommended Age||10 - 13|
|Publication Date||Sep 24, 2019|
|Publisher||Wendy Lamb Books|