By Rachel (local to the shop)
This is a truly heartrending story that is definitely not for the faint hearted, the struggles, injustices and downright racist attacked experienced by the characters in the story will be for some all too close for comfort. However, this is a very well written account of what would have happened to black people during the struggle for integration. Unfortunately this still happens and a lot of the shouting abuses and ignorance of those who would rather be blind than acknowledge and challenge this behaviour is all to familiar. I think this book is also done well to highlight the different struggles that people face when more often than not for a change to happen people’s choice is no longer theirs to give. Parents, governments, judges and schools will always make the decisions they think are right although at times they can be wrong. I think it’s good because it has not just focused on the main character's struggle alone but also showed how the whole group of children is impacted by the decision to integrate Jefferson and the consequent consistent harassment and derogatory treatment by the kids and teachers alike to get them to drop out. I think it’s a good book to gain insight in to the daily struggle a lot of people face mentally battling with their sexuality as well and trying to understand why they feel this way and what it means for them. This book is a tale of how ultimately friendships often enable us to overcome even the worst abuses and become stronger and feel less alone. It is important to see this not nearly as a work of fiction but also a tool to see how far we've come and how much further we still have to go. Strength in the face of adversity is the most beautiful thing to see and support. Very captivating. 5 stars.