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Midnight Without a Moon
Cover of Midnight Without a Moon
Midnight Without a Moon
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Washington Post 2017 KidsPost Summer Book Club selection!
It's Mississippi in the summer of 1955, and Rose Lee Carter can't wait to move north. But for now, she's living with her sharecropper grandparents on a white man's cotton plantation.


Then, one town over, an African American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. When Till's murderers are unjustly acquitted, Rose realizes that the South needs a change . . . and that she should be part of the movement.


Linda Jackson's moving debut seamlessly blends a fictional portrait of an African American family and factual events from a famous trial that provoked change in race relations in the United States.

Washington Post 2017 KidsPost Summer Book Club selection!
It's Mississippi in the summer of 1955, and Rose Lee Carter can't wait to move north. But for now, she's living with her sharecropper grandparents on a white man's cotton plantation.


Then, one town over, an African American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. When Till's murderers are unjustly acquitted, Rose realizes that the South needs a change . . . and that she should be part of the movement.


Linda Jackson's moving debut seamlessly blends a fictional portrait of an African American family and factual events from a famous trial that provoked change in race relations in the United States.

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  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2016
    The ugly brutality of the Jim Crow South is recounted in dulcet, poetic tones, creating a harsh and fascinating blend. Fact and fiction pair in the story of Rose Lee Carter, 13, as she copes with life in a racially divided world. It splits wide open when a 14-year-old boy from Chicago named Emmett Till goes missing. Jackson superbly blends the history into her narrative. The suffocating heat, oppression, and despair African-Americans experienced in 1955 Mississippi resonate. And the author effectively creates a protagonist with plenty of suffering all her own. Practically abandoned by her mother, Rose Lee is reviled in her own home for the darkness of her brown skin. The author ably captures the fear and dread of each day and excels when she shows the peril of blacks trying to assert their right to vote in the South, likely a foreign concept to today's kids. Where the book fails, however, is in its overuse of descriptors and dialect and the near-sociopathic zeal of Rose Lee's grandmother Ma Pearl and her lighter-skinned cousin Queen. Ma Pearl is an emotionally remote tyrant who seems to derive glee from crushing Rose Lee's spirits. And Queen is so glib and self-centered she's almost a cartoon. The bird's-eye view into this pivotal moment provides a powerful story, one that adults will applaud--but between the avalanche of old-South homilies and Rose Lee's relentlessly hopeless struggle, it may be a hard sell for younger readers. (Historical fiction. 10-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2017

    Gr 4-8-Life in a sharecropper's shack on a cotton plantation in Mississippi during the summer of 1955 is harsh and unyielding, especially for 13-year-old Rose Lee Carter. Rose lives under the guardianship of her grandmother, who openly mocks her looks and favors her lighter-skinned cousin. Opening with a tense scene of brother Fred Lee's birth and Rose's terrifying encounter with local white supremacists, readers are immediately drawn into the deep poverty and racism that Rose faces on a constant basis. Although conditions at home, physical and emotional, are hard to bear, she enjoys a strong friendship with the son of the local preacher, Hallelujah Jenkins. African Americans registering to vote are routinely harassed-and the murder of Emmett Till reverberates through the community as feelings of anger and fear intensify. Rose is a relatable, endearing, and fully developed character. Her heartaches are striking and acute. The change from her fervent desire to join her mother and stepfather in Chicago to her determination to stay in Mississippi and join the fight for civil rights is believably heroic. Descriptions of the family's severe poverty are shattering but never salacious. Preferential treatment for lighter-skinned African Americans in Rose's family and even in the mainstream African American media is painfully depicted. Recommend for fans of Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming and Mildred Taylor's "Logan Family" saga. VERDICT An unflinching and sensitively-told coming-of-age story from the perspective of a smart and thoughtful young girl in 1950s Mississippi.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Midnight Without a Moon
Midnight Without a Moon
Linda Williams Jackson
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