Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I'm scouting for a novel to use with the upcoming John Brown/Civil War expedition at school. A Wish After Midnight was quite satisfying, and handles complex themes like the subtle complexities of race relations past and present without ever getting preachy or judgmental. The book's frankness made it particularly interesting. It's like a YA version of Kindred with time-travel and all--an urban teen girl with ambition to get out finds herself cast back in time to Civil-War era Brooklyn, just before the draft riots. Both eras are excellently rendered, the main character is tough and honest, and I look forward to the sequel.
Unfortunately, the book is a bit too frank for my sixth graders: there's some salty language, a bit of sexual play, and while I might find it unobjectionable to teach 11-and 12-year-olds, there are likely many parents who'd disagree.