A Friendship for Today by Patricia C. McKissack
Rosemary Elizabeth Patterson is one of those kids who enjoys friendship. Just make sure that you don't call her Rosie. She has to say farewell to some old friends when she is assigned to a new school. This is the first year (1954) when the Supreme Court puts an end to separate schools for blacks and whites. She is one of the few black students assigned to Robertson Elementary School. Rosemary has to put up with a lot, but she knows how to handle herself. She has been taught independence and justice from her mother and love from her father. However, her father isn't there when she really needs him and eventually her mother and father divorce.
Rosemary learns that there are many types of friendships. She shares a rare kind of friendship with a person of the opposite gender. Her friend since kindergarten is struck with polio and he misses the entire year of sixth grade. Wait until you see how Rags, a cat, helps her cope and wait until you see the dedication of the book. Don't read the dedication until you have finished the book or go back and read it again. I only read this book because it was written by Patricia C. McKissack. I will always remember this book because it it was written by (and about) Patricia C. McKissack.