Monday, July 17, 2017

Colorblind by Leah Harper Bowron

It's 1968 and Leah is a middle school student.  When one of the teachers retires, the new teacher begins to be chatted about before her arrival.  It's rumored she talks funny, has odd hair, lives in the quarter and more.  It takes a while before Lisa realizes they mean she's black...

PR by the Book and Spark Press let me read an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

Lisa's parents each have their own opinions.  Her father is a lawyer and he will represent colored people.  Her mother has the opinion of the community that they are lesser beings and a bit stupid.  Lisa finds herself siding with her father but she won't tell her mother that.  Her mother tells her things and then tells her not to tell her father.  Soon the secrets she's carrying are going to cause trouble for her.

The mean boys who bully Lisa (she was born with a cleft palate and has a flat nose on one side) are tickled to have a teacher to torment.  The teacher attempt to ignore them but the hounding is getting to her.

Lisa finds it hard to stand up for herself but she does defend the teacher.  That just gets her in more trouble.  Her mother makes problems for her by assuming things about the teacher.  If Lisa is going to handle this, she has to grow up fast.  She does.  And she's not keeping secrets anymore.

The sad part is that being different in any way invites rude comments and bullying even in this day and age.  My mother raised me to welcome any new person as a friend.  Color, religion, or politics didn't matter.  I know that's unusual but I think life would be better for everyone if we could just agree to get along.

Just remember to be like Lisa and stand up for what you believe in.  It's not easy but you can do it.

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