Billie, a tomboy growing up in small-town Alabama, doesn't think she's racist. She just wants things to stay the way they've always been, since everyone's comfortable being "with their own kind." But Billie's eyes are soon opened to the ugliness in prejudice as she sees the hateful way her neighbors treat the Freedom Riders, and she begins to understand that standing by and doing nothing is the same as agreeing with the haters.
This was an interesting book in that it told one of the stories of integration from the perspective of a white child. It reminded me of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with the way the main character was beginning to learn the implications of the "separate but equal" ideas. I appreciated the way the main character realized what was wrong in her thinking, and with the naivete of childhood, set about fixing it, even if it meant endangering herself.
Recommended for: middle grade
Red Flags: lots of racially motivated violence - people beating other people (or inanimate objects like buses and doors) with chains and baseball bats
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Stella by Starlight,Lies We Tell Ourselves