Full Cicada Moon

Marilyn Hilton. Dial, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-42875-6
In free verse, Mimi Yoshiko Oliver narrates her seventh grade year at a new school in 1969 Vermont. Mimi’s ethnicity puzzles people: on the first day of school, a classmate asks, “What are you?” a question Mimi often hears: “I am/ half my Japanese mother,/ half my Black father,/ and all me.” Her father advises, “ ‘be kind, be respectful, and persist.’/ ‘Like raindrops on granite,’ I say,/ because we know that’s how I persist—/ drip, drip, drip/ until the granite cracks.” Mimi makes friends, excels academically, and dreams of being an astronaut; however, “I feel like I have to be/ twice as smart and funny at school/ and twice as nice and forgiving in my neighborhood.” Throughout the year, Mimi confronts barriers; when told that girls take home economics and boys take shop, she politely and repeatedly protests this rule, eventually engaging in civil disobedience. When the school suspends her, her classmates organize a sit-in. Through the perspective of this clear-eyed, courageous heroine, Hilton (Found Things) powerfully recreates a time of momentous transition in American history. Ages 8–12. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 09/08/2015
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-14-751601-5
Prebound-Glued - 400 pages - 978-0-606-39789-6
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