Shelia P. Moses, Author . S&S/McElderry $15.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-689-85839-0

With a plot that recalls To Kill a Mockingbird , Moses (So They Burned the Black Churches ) blends the historical Buddy Bush, the stories about him that her grandmother told her plus her own imagination to paint a realistic picture of 1947 North Carolina. Narrator Pattie Mae Sheals, 12, lives with her extended family in what used to be a slave-owner's house and is now, ironically, called the slave house. It seems that most of her family does slave for the whites—picking tobacco or cotton. Pattie Mae wishes she could go north to Harlem, where her older brother and sister live, and where her informally adopted uncle Buddy returned from five years earlier with a fancy Cadillac—and an unwillingness to accommodate humiliations at the hands of white people. Taking Pattie Mae to the movies in town one night, Buddy fails to step aside for a white woman, who retaliates by accusing him of rape, charges that quickly land Buddy in jail and in imminent peril of a lynching. While Moses doesn't always secure the nuts and bolts of her storytelling (Just how has Buddy earned enough money to buy a Cadillac? Why has he traded his newfound way of living to resume residence in the slave house in the backward South?), she more than compensates by conveying the intimacy of Pattie Mae's large family. The author illuminates both the petty and grave injustices of their daily lives; she presents them in a way that allows the audience to react for themselves. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/26/2004
Release date: 12/01/2003
Genre: Children's
Mass Market Paperbound - 211 pages - 978-1-4169-0716-9
Prebound-Other - 211 pages - 978-0-606-34544-6
Prebound-Sewn - 224 pages - 978-1-4177-4328-5
Prebound-Glued - 211 pages - 978-0-7569-5459-8
Hardcover - 211 pages - 978-0-7862-7311-9
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4391-3182-4
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