Audiobook CD - 2009
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In 1863, fifteen-year-old Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, faces ugly truths and great danger when Irish immigrants, enraged by the Civil War and a federal draft, lash out against blacks and wealthy "swells" of New York City.
Publisher: New York : Random House/Listening Library, [2009], ℗2009
Edition: Library edition
ISBN: 9780307583383
Branch Call Number: FICTION Mye
Description: 3 audio discs (2 hr., 36 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Audience: Recommended for listeners ages 12 to 17


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Feb 01, 2011

I had not previously read much about the Civil War Draft Riots. I found this book a mostly satisfying summary of the event. It was quick, with not a lot of detail, but probably enough to keep younger readers from protesting too much.

I had hoped to like this book more. The whole tone of the novel leans toward the heavy-handed. Claire repeats her refrain that people are people, regardless of their race often. While I agree with that tenet, I felt that the actions of similarly enlightened characters related the message just as effectively.

The end interview with the author was very interesting to me personally. It definitely feels like a slightly dry history lecture, but I would recommend young readers hang around for it (or read it). The added detail clarifies riots causes.


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Feb 01, 2011

"Riot" is set during the Civil War Draft Riots of NYC. The audio book version is performed by various actors.

The action centers around Claire, a teenage girl of mixed heritage. Her father is black, and her mother is an Irish immigrant. Claire's complexion is fair and she is consistently assumed to be white by people unfamiliar with her family.

Claire struggles with the meaning of her identity, and the danger it presents for her during this time of conflict.


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