Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Guardian by Julius Lester

Down in the south, segregation is a part of life. It's 1946, and even though African Americans have been free of slavery, not everyone things they should be. They certainly aren't treated the same.

Ansel has been friends with Willie his whole life. They both work in Ansel's dad's store, but Willie only works there because of Esther Davis. Otherwise, Bert-Ansel's dad-would have never hired Willie. He wants nothing to do with "their kind."

Then a girl is murdered and the boy who did it goes free after accusing Willie's dad. And in that instant, everything Ansel thought he understood disappears and life for him will never be the same.

This is a powerful story but confusing. The prologue talks about the trees used for hanging people and the last chapter talks about the survivors being guardians to pain, shame, and murder. The book is about lynching, so no easy topics discussed here. A short, painful, and necessary book.

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