Dear America: With the Might of Angels by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Published by Scholastic, September 1, 2011)
Dawnie Rae Johnston begins her diary on her twelth birthday in 1954, the day after the Supreme Court decision ending segregation in schools. Dawnie is one of the top students in her grade at her segregated school, but she wishes she could go to the white school in town, which is a much nicer building, with new books and supplies and even a baseball field. When Dawnie's parents decide to enroll her at the white school for the following school year, she is excited to be attending such a nice school. But many people in Hadley are racist, and her family suffers as a result. Her father loses his job, and many of the teachers and students are cruel to her.
This was a difficult book for me to review, because it was well-written and well-researched, but not to my personal tastes. I always feel bad trying to decide how to review a book when it's well-written but I just didn't enjoy it. And since the Dear America series is one of my favorite series, I had really hoped to enjoy this book, but it's a bad sign when it takes me over two weeks to finish a Dear America book.
I think there were two main reasons why I didn't enjoy it very much. The first reason was that I couldn't relate to the main character at all. She was a tomboy who was obsessed with sports and loved baseball. I am the least athletic person on the planet, gym class was torture for me, and I just got bored and annoyed whenever she would write about sports or use some kind of sport-y metaphor (Which was really often). And the second reason is that, after reading this book and a few others, I've come to the conclusion that for the most part, I just don't like historical fiction set after World War II. It just seems too modern to me. If you are interested in the Civil Rights Movement or 1950s history in general, and this book sounds like something you would enjoy, don't let my review put you off reading it. I think a lot of people will enjoy this book, and like I said it's well-written, it just didn't interest me.