An engrossing, capably written picture of fine young people endeavoring to find the right way in a world that persistently...

THE ROAD TO MEMPHIS

Continuing the saga of the Logan family—extraordinary as black landowners in pre-WW II Mississippi while also representative of the agonies of survival in a racist society—Cassie (age nine in Newbery-winner Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, 1976) recounts harrowing events during late 1941.

Now 17 and aiming for law school, Cassie goes to school in nearby Jackson, where older brother Stacey works and has earned his first car. At home, redneck bullying is as cruel as ever: as "coon" in a malicious "hunt," one friend is severely wounded; another, Moe, is attacked and goaded until he retaliates with a crowbar. Old friend and ally Jeremy, though kin to the white tormentors, helps spirit Moe to Jackson (a courageous act for which he later pays a terrible price); with Cassie and new soldier Clarence joining in the perilous journey, Stacey drives Moe to Memphis to catch a northbound train to safety. As in the other Logan stories, the painful, authentic, vividly portrayed injustices follow one after another, each making its point: Clarence's death after a white doctor refuses to treat him; the barely averted gang-rape of a black gift found alone; the malicious vandalizing of Stacey's car. There are only occasional consoling hints of the Logans' powerful family unity; the one comfortingly safe interlude here is with Solomon Bradley, a charismatic, Harvard-educated black lawyer who runs a Memphis newspaper—his unresolved relationship with Cassie, who is on the verge of becoming a dauntless, spirited, highly intelligent woman, looks like a good subject for another book.

An engrossing, capably written picture of fine young people endeavoring to find the right way in a world that persistently wrongs them. (Historical fiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: May 1, 1990

ISBN: 0140360778

Page Count: 308

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1990

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else.

ALL THIS TIME

A modern-day fairy tale about two teenagers suffering from loss who find healing in one another.

Despite the ups and downs in their relationship, Kyle and Kimberly have always made up, and Kyle looks forward to attending college together after graduation. But on the night they should be celebrating, Kimberly confesses that she has committed to a different college and breaks up with him. As they argue, their car crashes, and Kyle later wakes up in the hospital and learns that Kimberly is dead. In his grief, Kyle blames himself for her death. He struggles to leave his bed most days, ignores calls from his and Kimberly’s best friend, Sam, and has visions of Kimberly and life before the accident. One day, while visiting Kimberly’s grave, he meets Marley, a girl who likes telling stories and is mourning the death of her twin sister. Predictably, their natural affinity for one another evolves into romance. It is unfortunate that Kyle essentially moves from one romantic relationship to another on his journey to better understanding himself and his co-dependence on those closest to him, although his gradual development into a more considerate person redeems him. The pacing remains even until the critical plot disruption, resulting in the rest of the story feeling disjointed and rushed. All characters are White.

For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6634-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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