TULSA BURNING by Anna Myers

TULSA BURNING

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This short, moving work is about family, poverty, love, hate—and introspection. It is spring 1921 when Nobe’s abusive father dies. “I wanted to tell Ma I was glad, glad the man who never did give me no kind word was gone. It wasn’t that simple, though, on account of I wanted to tell her I was sorry too. I wanted to be sorry.” No longer able to afford their farm, Nobe and Ma move into town to live with the sheriff—a man who shoots and kills Nobe’s dog right in front of him. Fury engulfs Nobe, and what emerges is a steady internal drive towards revenge. Nobe’s friends, portrayed simply but with layers of complexity, include a child who hangs around while he washes dishes at a cafe, a girl named Cinda he has known since childhood, and a man named Isaac, nine years older. Isaac and Nobe work together on the longings they both have for loving fathers. But Nobe is white and Isaac black, and when a race riot breaks out in nearby Tulsa, Nobe has to drive a truck into the city past rioters and the National Guard to get Isaac back to their town. A tragic accident and vicious “clan” violence push Nobe to act fast, and while working out the logistics of dangerous but critical actions, he inadvertently works right through to a peaceful feeling. Descriptions are poetic and vivid; the narrative voice is deep and soulful. (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8027-8829-7
Page count: 184pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002




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