MY MOTHER THE CHEERLEADER by Robert Sharenow

MY MOTHER THE CHEERLEADER

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1960s New Orleans, 13-year-old Louise recounts the events that led to her mother Pauline’s withdrawal from the “Cheerleaders,” a group of mothers who gathered each morning outside of William Franz Elementary School to protest integration by heckling Ruby Bridges, the first African-American girl to attend the school. The change in Pauline is prompted by a visitor to her inn, a Jewish man named Morgan with whom she forms an instant connection, and by the community’s violent reaction to his presence. Shortly after Morgan’s arrival, Louise witnesses her mother being raped by her former friends as punishment for associating with him and learns that these men plan to lynch Morgan as well. After this night of violence, Morgan’s car is found burned out and abandoned; Pauline never again joins the Cheerleaders in front of the school; and Louise tries to accept her mother’s inaction as sufficiently redemptive. This story provides an unflinching look at the violence and hatred that permeated this period of history. However, the characters are rather two-dimensional, and the narrative lacks the emotional and psychological depth necessary to fully engage. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 24th, 2007
ISBN: 0-06-114896-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Laura Geringer/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2007




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