Between Us Baxters

Between Us Baxters

4.8 5
by Bethany Hegedus

Editorial Reviews

Catherine McTamaney
Twelve-year-old Polly's life is changing as quickly as the world around her. Set in the rural south at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, this novel juxtaposes a community torn apart by racism against the struggle of one girl to protect her family and preserve her friendships. One part coming-of-age story, one part social commentary, the novel details Polly's struggle to make sense of all sorts of changes, from the uncertainty of her own body to the chaos of her larger society. Violence in this small town exposes family secrets, forcing Polly to decide for herself what she believes. An authentic description of race relations in the 1950s, this novel places larger social issues of desegregation within the lives of two families. Reviewer: Catherine McTamaney
VOYA - Karen Jensen
Living in 1959, twelve-year-old Polly finds herself struggling against her family and the racism of the day during hard economic times in Holcom County, Georgia, which is still segregated by race. When her alcoholic father loses his job and her wealthy grandmother dies, her mother takes a job as a caregiver for a local judge and arranges for her black friend, Henrietta, to get a job as their housekeeper. Polly is secretly best friends with Timbre Ann, Henrietta's niece—but their friendship is difficult given the racial tension. As stores owned by blacks are burned and racial violence increases, Polly begins to suspect that her father is somehow involved. The tension—between the races, between the family members and ultimately between two friends—is palpable and builds to a suspenseful crescendo. In the end, a tragic accident tests the bonds of Polly and Timbre Ann's friendship. The depiction of the historical times is realistic and gut wrenching, including the use of racial slurs. Readers will be drawn into the many characters in this story of friendship under challenging circumstances. Recommend it to readers looking for historical fiction, discussions of racial discrimination, family, and friendship. Reviewer: Karen Jensen
School Library Journal

Gr 5-9

In 1959, in Holcolm County, GA, there is a palpable tension. Times are slowly changing, causing resentment among some folks and optimism among others. The volatile mix sets the tone for this story of family, friendship, and racial discrimination. Jim Crow is the law of the South, separating the races, but it cannot dictate human emotions, creating the pivotal struggle of the novel. Twelve-year-old Polly Baxter, daughter of a poor white couple, and 14-year-old Timbre Ann, child of a black business owner, share the most improbable thing in this environment-a friendship. When suspicious fires, vandalism, and threats to successful black business owners cause fear and distrust among the townspeople, the strength of Polly and Timbre Ann's bond is tested. It is further jeopardized after a tragic incident threatens to separate them forever. The connection between the two girls and their families is beautifully described and believable, and the richness of the characters is apparent. The pacing of the story is deliberate and suspenseful with twists and turns that add to the bittersweet conclusion.-Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ

Read More

Product Details

Westside Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)
610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >