Another excellent choice for Black History Month, this historical fiction novel for middle-grade readers, takes a little known race riot and coup d'etat that occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898 as the inspiration for creating a compelling story of eleven-year old Moses and the destruction of the middle-class African-American community in which he lived.
It's just one generation after the end of slavery--Moses' own grandmother, Boo Nanny, was born a slave, but in the years since Emancipation, Moses' family has risen into the middle class. His father is college-educated, works for the local black newspaper, and is also a town alderman. When the editor of the black newspaper writes an editorial in which he suggests that it's no worse for a black man to be intimate with a white woman than for a white man to be intimate with a black woman, "big trouble's a-brewing" in Wilmington. Will Moses and his family escape the ensuing violence that erupts?
Creating a compelling voice for young Moses, author Barbara Wright has created a moving and shocking story about the Jim Crow South that received well deserved star reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, and Horn Book. You can read an excerpt at her website. Her website also offers resources for teachers, including a teacher's guide from Random House. This book is a must-have for school and pubic libraries!