Customer Reviews for

A Friendship for Today

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com

    On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States made a historic ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education: Segregation of public schools was declared unconstitutional. And, like so many others, the life of twelve-year-old Rosemary Patterson was forever changed. <BR/><BR/>Rosemary doesn't really care for the idea of her school being closed just because of the decision. "If white people want to go to school with us so much, seems to me all they needed to do was ask. We'd make room for a few white kids at Attucks Elementary next year," she tells her mother. "Why did it take the Supreme Court to figure that out?" (p. 2). As was the case for many children of the time, Rosemary doesn't quite understand the significance of the ruling. Having grown up under the oppressive lie of "separate but equal," she just doesn't realize how wrong the system is, or how it actually affects her life. But, her mother promises, "Next year, when you are in a better school, you'll come to appreciate why this decision is so important" (p. 2). <BR/><BR/>As Rosemary goes through her classes at Robertson Elementary--the only "colored" student in the sixth grade after her best friend, J. J., is diagnosed with polio--she learns about hatred. She learns about intolerance. But she also learns about friendship. And she learns that sometimes people really can change. Things seem too much to handle in the beginning, but the local storekeeper, Mr. Bob, encourages her to keep her chin up: "You are a pioneer in the real sense of the word, Rosemary. Whenever you are the first, you are going to have it hard" (71). <BR/><BR/>This book, while fiction, is based on McKissack's own experience as a young girl in 1954 Missouri, facing her sixth-grade class as the only African-American student. Students today of every ethnic background will find the details fascinating, and will wonder, just as Rosemary did, "Why did it take the Supreme Court to figure that out?" (p. 2). And while it is a sign of success that children today cannot truly comprehend a society segregated by race, it is important that the struggles of those who led the fight--by choice or by circumstance--never be forgotten, as the fight for equality in the United States is still raging. A FRIENDSHIP FOR TODAY is an excellent example of courage and spirit for all children--and adults--to read, understand, admire, and, hopefully, carry forward.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States made a historic ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education: Segregation of public schools was declared unconstitutional. And, like so many others, the life of twelve-year-old Rosemary Patterson was forever changed. Rosemary doesn't really care for the idea of her school being closed just because of the decision. 'If white people want to go to school with us so much, seems to me all they needed to do was ask. We'd make room for a few white kids at Attucks Elementary next year,' she tells her mother. 'Why did it take the Supreme Court to figure that out?' (p. 2). As was the case for many children of the time, Rosemary doesn't quite understand the significance of the ruling. Having grown up under the oppressive lie of 'separate but equal,' she just doesn't realize how wrong the system is, or how it actually affects her life. But, her mother promises, 'Next year, when you are in a better school, you'll come to appreciate why this decision is so important' (p. 2). As Rosemary goes through her classes at Robertson Elementary--the only 'colored' student in the sixth grade after her best friend, J. J., is diagnosed with polio--she learns about hatred. She learns about intolerance. But she also learns about friendship. And she learns that sometimes people really can change. Things seem too much to handle in the beginning, but the local storekeeper, Mr. Bob, encourages her to keep her chin up: 'You are a pioneer in the real sense of the word, Rosemary. Whenever you are the first, you are going to have it hard' (71). This book, while fiction, is based on McKissack's own experience as a young girl in 1954 Missouri, facing her sixth-grade class as the only African-American student. Students today of every ethnic background will find the details fascinating, and will wonder, just as Rosemary did, 'Why did it take the Supreme Court to figure that out?' (p. 2). And while it is a sign of success that children today cannot truly comprehend a society segregated by race, it is important that the struggles of those who led the fight--by choice or by circumstance--never be forgotten, as the fight for equality in the United States is still raging. A FRIENDSHIP FOR TODAY is an excellent example of courage and spirit for all children--and adults--to read, understand, admire, and, hopefully, carry forward. **Reviewed by: Mechele R. Dillard

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2007

    the best book ever.

    this a such a great book. from the cover it looks overatted and girly, but its not. This as a summary of it. a girl has to go through a white schol all about her self. She has so much going on: her new school, the hamiltons, her best friend with POlio, mom and dad constantnly figthnin, and her almost dead cat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2012

    Patricia C Mckissack is at her absolute best with this book I lo

    Patricia C Mckissack is at her absolute best with this book I loved it!

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    See it. Read it.Love it.

    Rosemary Patterson is among the first African American students from Attucks Elementary that will be sent to T. Thomas Robertson Elementary. Much of the students who attend Attucks Elementary will be sent to either John Adams Elementary or T. Thomas Robertson Elementary, which are both an all-white school up until now. Rosemary's parents are on the edge of being divorced. Just before school begins, Rosemary's best friend James Johnson Stenson, Jr., is suddenly hit with polio leaving Rosemary the only colored student in her class. All her worries, especially about J.J, have made the beginning of a new school year difficult. This book involves racist issues, coping with a peers' prejudice, survival stories, and a parents' disintegrating marriage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    You should read it !

    I am reading it right now and it such a great book.I feel sad that Rosemary's friend J.J. has polio and has to go through all those treatments.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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