by Melanie Conklin
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 2016
Thyme gradually adjusts to life in the city (including a small apartment rather than a house with a yard), her new school and friends, the housekeeper, Mrs. Ravelli, and the quirky neighbor, Mr. Lipinski, and is able to look beyond her own life to realize the complexity of others' lives.
It's been a long time since characters and a story grabbed me like this and wouldn't let me go until I finished the book!
Woven through this unflinching look at racial discrimination in the Jim Crow south during the Depression, is the story of the awakening of a young writer to her craft.
From the KKK, to separate and definitely unequal schools, to blatant voting discrimination, Sharon Draper tells it like it was. Through it all, Stella, her family, and her community remain positive and hopeful, working for a fair and just future which today remains elusive but just as worth fighting for now as it was then. This is an important book for read aloud and discussion, either in racially diverse or in racially similar classrooms.