Sink or Swim

Betty Miles, Author, Hodges Soileau, Illustrator Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $11.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-394-85515-8
The author of The Trouble with Thirteen, Looking On and other outstanding novels, Miles presents a story that's a sheer joy to experience. Told entirely in the authentic voice of B. J. Johnson, 11, the adventure begins on a bus taking him with a group of children from Harlem to a New Hampshire town. They are invited for two weeks in the country by the program sponsored by Fresh Air. B. J. is a bit homesick, missing his Mama and friends back in the city, worried over how white people may feel about black kids. All his fears vanish when the Roberts family welcomes B. J. Jimmy Roberts and his little sister Linda become like brother and sister to B. J. and their parents are warmhearted and loving, treating B. J. as part of the family. It's fun to share the guest's delights in farm living: fresh eggs and corn, a camping trip, a country fair, learning to swim even though he's terrified. The reader is sad, as B. J. and the Robertses are when he leaves, but glad to know he'll be back the next year. (913)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1986
Release date: 03/01/1986
Paperback - 978-0-380-69913-1
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