SEARCHING FOR SARAH RECTOR by Tonya Bolden
Kirkus Star

SEARCHING FOR SARAH RECTOR

The Richest Black Girl in America
Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1914, 12-year-old Oklahoman Sarah Rector attracted attention when it became known that the oil found on land allotted to her by treaty was worth a fortune.

When Native Americans were forced from lands in the American South, many took their slaves with them to Indian Territory, where they became citizens after the Civil War and, as such, received land allotments. Most blacks farmed the land they received, even though it was often a difficult life. When oil was discovered in Oklahoma territory, the wrangling over the land and profits of minors like Sarah intensified as guardians, some unscrupulous, were appointed to oversee financial affairs. In Sarah’s case, the scrutiny included commentary in the black press and even questions raised by the NAACP. This little-known episode demonstrates the confluence of various threads in U.S. history, among them slavery, shifting policy toward Indians and westward expansion. Drawing extensively on primary sources, Bolden has done an admirable job in simplifying a complex situation for young readers. More importantly, she shows how intertwined seemingly disparate historical factors can be. As, unfortunately, there are no first-person accounts left by Sarah Rector, readers don’t really get to know the person who triggered the controversy, but the lively narrative makes clear the tenor of the period. This handsome volume with its many photographs is carefully sourced and has a helpful glossary, illustration credits and index.

Bolden admirably tells a complex story while modeling outstanding research strategy, as her insightful author’s note attests. (Nonfiction 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0846-6
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2013




MORE BY TONYA BOLDEN

Children12 DAYS OF NEW YORK by Tonya Bolden
by Tonya Bolden
ChildrenEMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION by Tonya Bolden
by Tonya Bolden
ChildrenFINDING FAMILY by Tonya Bolden
by Tonya Bolden

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenMARITCHA by Tonya Bolden
by Tonya Bolden
ChildrenTHE JOURNAL OF JESSE SMOKE by Joseph Bruchac
by Joseph Bruchac
AdultBLACK PIONEERS by William Loren Katz
by William Loren Katz