Francie lives with her mother and younger brother, Prez, in rural Alabama, where all three work and wait. Francie's father is trying to get settled in Chicago so he can move his family up North.
Unfortunately, he's made promises he hasn't kept, and Francie painfully learns that her dreams of starting junior high school in an integrated urban classroom will go unfulfilled. Amid the day-to-day grind of working odd jobs for wealthy white folks on the other side of town, Francie becomes involved in helping a framed young black man to escape arrest -- a brave gesture, but one that puts the entire black community in danger. In this vivid portrait of a girl in the pre--Civil Rights era South, first-time novelist Karen English completes Francie's world using lively vernacular and a wide array of flesh-and-blood characters.
Francie is a 2000 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.
“We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression has hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie's beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.
“Witty and moving.” —The Wall Street Journal
“The fluidity of the writing, the strong sense of place and time combined with well-drawn characters will captivate and delight. . . . a fitting literary companion to Bud Caldwell.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“Curtis threads important bits of African-American history throughout the narrative. . . . Some readers will feel they are due a bit of happiness; others will be struck by how little has changed in 75 years for the nation’s have-nots.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred
From the Hardcover edition.
With her friend Missy Violet away in Florida, Viney has big shoes to fill. While there are ailing neighbors to comfort, Viney’s favorite teacher has left school—and Viney’s irrepressible cousin Charles continues his mischief-making. Through short, powerful vignettes and letters between Missy Violet, Viney, and others, the day-to-day happenings in this warm southern town come to life.
Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. And it is also Cassie's story—Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.
* "[A] vivid story.... Entirely through its own internal development, the novel shows the rich inner rewards of black pride, love, and independence."—Booklist, starred review
But Jeremy thinks music is beautiful, and when he pops into a dream of Callie singing, he becomes fascinated with her. He begins to wonder if there is more to life than being safe. Defying his community and the role they have established for him, he sets off to find her in the real world. Together, they will challenge their world’s expectations. But how far will they go to achieve their own dreams?