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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Darby

Darby written by Jonathon Scott Fuqua

If you enjoyed Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy you just might enjoy Darby. This story takes place1926, Marlboro County, South Carolina. Some of the issues dealt with are similiar, no maybe the same, as in Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. There are friendship, trust and racial issues fueling this story as well.

DarbyCarmichael's best friend, Evette, is a black girl whose family are tenant farmers on the Carmichael farm. Evette wants to be a journalist, like her aunt who lives up north in New York City. Darby decides she wants to be a "newspaper girl" too. Soon Darby has her first article published in the local paper, an article about toads.

Her second article gives a child's view of the differences in how people relate to each other in the town, directly addressing the cultural views in a small southern town during 1926 relating to racism. The repurcussions of this article, on Darby's family, her white friend Beth's family, and on the town as a whole are related.

Darby, in her articles, tells the truth as she sees it. This causes others, adults, to question their own beliefs and behaviors. Some react violently to a child questioning the social culture they have grown up with. Others try to find ways to make life better for all.

I really enjoyed this book. It is one of the 2006 Rebecca Caudill Nominees. An author's note, following the story, by Jonathon Scott Fuqua, tells the roots of his tale - being loosely based on oral histories he conducted in Marlboro County, South Carolina. There is a sense of reality in this story. Darby's parents deal realistically with their own feelings concerning racial issues and the violence that threatens their family due to Darby's honesty. Darby and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy both address racial issues, although in different parts of the country. Together they promote understanding. I think these are both "must reads." Interesting and well written.


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