Friday, September 20, 2013

Dear America: With the Might of Angels

It's been a few years since I read a Dear America book. These books weren't published when I was in school, so every single one I've read has been read in my adulthood. I was thrilled to see that there were new Dear America titles to add to my TBR stack, and yet this one has lingered there for a while.  Now, it is an Iowa Children's Choice Award book and I have resolved to read the books from this list before my students vote on them.  My oldest daughter was surprised at my reading choice because this is a series she is enjoying, too.

Set in 1954, Dawnie Ray Johnson is noticing the difference between how she is treated and how white people are treated. Dawnie has dreams of becoming a doctor, yet her textbooks are ripped and falling apart.  She knows she needs to go to Prettyman, the white school, if she wants to be a doctor someday.  And, Dawnie just happens to live in a time when integration becomes possible.  Dawnie records her thoughts and feelings in her "diary book" where she recounts her twelfth year - the way her friendships change after leaving her old school, Bethune.  The way her father loses his job because Dawn is integrating Prettyman.  The way some of the teachers look right through her at Prettyman as though she didn't exist.  The way her brother, Goober's, behavior is just a bit different than other kids'.  And, Dawn records her dreams - especially her dream of becoming a doctor.

With the Might of Angels is another great installment in the Dear America series, definitely worthy of its place on the Iowa Childrens Choice list.

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