Author: Cline-Ransome, Lesa
An interracial friendship between two teenaged girls goes tragically wrong in this powerful historical novel set in the Jim Crow South. For Lamb follows a family striving to better their lives in the late 1930s Jackson, Mississippi. Lamb's mother is a hard-working, creative seamstress who cannot reveal she is a lesbian. Lamb's brother has a brilliant mind and has even earned a college scholarship for a black college up north--if only he could curb his impulsiveness and rebellious nature.
Booklist (+) (12/01/23)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/23)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/23)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2023 *Starred Review* In 1940, shy teen Lamb lives with her mother and older brother Simeon in an African American neighborhood of Jackson, Mississippi. All are mindful of the rules of segregation, although Simeon, anxious to attend college up north, frequently chafes against these strictures, causing discord with his mother. Then Lamb, whose gentle nature also makes her somewhat naive, meets a white girl, Marny, and is pulled toward the promise of friendship, until a horrible incident causes tragedy for everyone. Cline-Ransome's use of multiple narrators helps to flesh out the characters, allowing each to share secrets with readers: Lamb tends to keep quiet even as she clandestinely pursues her friendship with Marny and a relationship with her estranged father; Simeon works hard to get a university scholarship, yet his commitment to defend his mother and sister comes at great cost to his own future; and their mother, Marion, hides a lesbian relationship even as she does everything within her power to promote and protect her children. An author's note provides further information about lynchings, which helps to situate events within the realities of this place and time. Told with nuance and subtlety, this is a powerful story of striving to succeed in the face of nearly impossible odds. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.