My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is another of those books that was immensely difficult to rate. It is a young adult, coming-of-age story, and the fact that it was compared to “To Kill a Mockingbird,” high standard as far as I set it to a high standard where I was concerned. And that possibly prejudiced the review, but I was willing to give it my full attention.
Permit me to delineate the positive aspects first. From a historical perspective, this book did a superb job recounting civil rights and all the issues surrounding that time period in history. Since it was narrated through the eyes of Orbie, it is quite a captivating story. There is a bit of mystery, and there are some distressing scenes to read as well. The author certainly writes realistically, and he has catered to young adults. After all, most young adults aren’t aware of history as it really was, and this is a perfect way to teach them creatively about a critical and distressing part of U.S. history.
My main complaint is the use of profanity. AS I have stated previously, I don’t generally mark down books for profanity, but I do expect young adult books to be held to a somewhat higher standard. If the profanity is mild, I often don’t mind, but this is what I consider hardcore profanity. I can overlook the historically accurate derogatory terms that are used. However, I do believe that the language should have been limited to that. I wouldn’t want my daughter to read this as a teenager. Notwithstanding, the story is phenomenal.
In short, this is a book I can recommend without reservation to adults who thoroughly know what is contained within the pages. It is worth the read, but I would have preferred some of these elements to be less objectionable. I appreciate the issues that were covered in the book from civil rights to child molestation to murder, and I can’t even fault the author for the ending–the way a young adult historical novel should end!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.