Rob Garrett is a fifteen year old boy who moves to Connecticut from Virginia in the 1950s with his family to get a better education for himself. When he first enters his new school called Draper, he feels uncomfortable because he is the only African-American in the school. Throughout the story, Rob is bullied, and deals with segregation from people in the society. On one occasion, Rob is bullied at school, and is called racist and offensive names. He is bullied almost everyday after, and it causes him to start to skip school. Rob thinks about going back to school, and talking to his friend Burns who supports him. Rob comes back to school, and realizes that he is bullied because he falls under too many stereotypes. He notices that the bullying has become less, but he is still bullied by the main bully, Dillard. Rob also faces racial tension outside of school. His old friends from Virginia come up to visit Rob, and he joins them in a sit-in. At the sit-in, many African-Americans get attacked, and Rob has to run back home. After all these experiences, Rob decides that the best option for him is to move back to Virginia with his old friends, into a neighborhood where he is accepted for who he is.
MY OPINION: When I began reading the book, I found out that the setting was in the 1950s, and they had different ways of living back then. I had not heard of these things before, which made the story slightly confusing, but it was still understandable. The story has an interesting plot, which made me want to read more of the book. The story also showed some of the segregation that happened before civil rights movements. The story showed a good amount of segregation, but it also showed how the civil rights movements helped to bond different races together, even in the 1950s. Some weaknesses of this book were its terms from the 1950s that it used which were hard to understand. I would recommend this book to young adults beginning high school because of the difficult terms and use of explicit language. I would rate this book nine out of ten stars. STUDY QUESTIONS AND VOCABULARY: FIRST SECTION 1. Why does everyone stare at Rob when he first enters Draper? 1a. Everyone stares at Rob because he is the first African-American at his school. (pg.4) 2. Why did Rob and his family move to the north? 2a. Rob and his family moved to the north because his parents wanted him to attend a non-segregated school for a better education. (pg.9) 3. Who does Rob meet on the bus? 3a. Rob meets Burns on the bus. (pg. 36) 4. Who does Rob meet outside of the jazz club, and what is his job? 4a. He meets Tyrone, who is Burns’ driver. (pg. 49) 5. Why does Rob begin to skip school? 5a. Rob begins to skip school because he is bullied, and is beat up. (pg. 68) dour (pg. 4) lynched (pg. 24) discomfited (pg. 56) sumptuous (pg. 74) repudiated (pg. 87) MIDDLE SECTION 6. Why does Rob go to 125th Street with Burns? 6a. Rob goes to 125th Street with Burns to watch the musicians play. (pg. 103) 7. Why does Rob decide to come back to school? 7a. He realizes that his family had moved up north for a better education for him, and does not want to waste it. (pg. 126) 8. What is Rob beginning to realize after Burns talks to him about getting bullied? 8a. Rob realizes that he makes himself a vulnerable target by falling under stereotypes. (pg. 141) 9. What happened to Cousin Gwen when Rob comes home late from school? 9a. Cousin Gwen had been shot while she was walking home from the grocery store. (pg. 152) 10. Where does Rob live after Cousin Gwen dies? 10a. Rob lives with Burns after Cousin Gwen dies because Burns is rich, and his parents do not stay home very often. (pg. 178) phalanx (pg. 113) hoodwinked (pg. 130) stalwart (pg. 138) devoid (pg. 156) demurely (pg. 172) LAST SECTION 11. What is happening around the country when Rob is living with Burns? 11a. There are mobs forming that are protesting for their rights. (pg. 191) 12. Why does Rob decide to go into the city? 12a. Rob has old friends from Virginia who are protesting, and want him to protest with them. (pg. 204) 13. Who is the leader of the sit-in that Rob is participating in? 13a. The leader of the sit-in is Joseph Jones. (pg. 227) 14. How did people react to the sit-in? 14a. They became angry and started to attack the people at the sit-in. (pg. 238) 15. Why does Rob decide to move back to Virginia? 15a. He realizes that a school full of white people may not be the best option for him, and he misses his old friends. (pg. 271) awry (pg. 196) precipice (pg. 213) throng (pg. 247) milling (pg. 264) guile (pg. 279)