Paperback - 2014
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A powerful and unflinching story of a family caught in the period of Reconstruction.

The year is 1867, the South has been defeated, and the American Civil War is over. But the conflict goes on. Yankees now patrol the streets of Richmond, Virginia, and its citizens, both black and white, are struggling to redefine their roles and relationships. By day, fourteen-year-old Shadrach apprentices with a tailor and sneaks off for reading lessons with Rachel, a freed slave, at her school for African-American children. By night he follows his older brother Jeremiah to the meetings of a group whose stated mission is to protect Confederate widows like their mother. But as the true murderous intentions of the group, now known as the Ku Klux Klan, are revealed, Shad finds himself trapped between old loyalties and what he knows is right.

A.B. Westrick provides a glimpse into the enormous social and political upheaval of the time.

Publisher: New York : Puffin, 2014
ISBN: 9780142422373


From Library Staff

It's 1867, Richmond is in ruins, and 14 year old Shad has just learned to read taking lessons with freed black children. Then he joins the Klan with his older brother. Now which way will he go?

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Mar 07, 2014

I thought this book was excellent and would be a great way to start conversations in classroom or book discussion groups about right and wrong and growing up in environments that teach racism and prejudice.

The author does such a good job of portraying the KKK through to eyes of a poor, white southern teen who doesn't know any better and has a lot of reasons to see the KKK as comforting and good. The way that Shad's emotions are described as flip flopping depending on the situation is extremely relatable.

Really great book.


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