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In 1926, nine-year-old Darby Carmichael stirs up trouble in Marlboro County, South Carolina, when she writes a story for the local newspaper promoting racial equality.
"Hey Darby," they said.
Evette pointed at the notebook I had. "You got another story writ up?"
Nodding, I said, "You wanna edit it?"
"Long as my name gets in the paper."
"It's gonna," I promised.
"I sat outside while Evette changed into her play clothes. Then we went through the field and into the woods. Sitting down on top of a log, she read what I'd done. She read it agai, and lifting her face real slow, she gave me a look. "Is it okay?" I asked.
"Just needs some smoothing out. This one's done more professional than the last." She smiled at me.
"Do you think it's good?"
"I do," she told me, taking my pencil and marking my newspaper article in what seemed like a hundred different spots. She saw me watching, and said, "It ain't nothing."
DARBY by Jonathon Scott Fuqua. Copyright (c) 2002 by Jonathon Scott Fuqua. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Posted September 13, 2002
DARBY is an absolutely spectacular book, and I mean, story, characters, subject matter, and all. It is truly a special story about a young girl who, for the first time, recognizes the inhumanity of segregation and racism in the Old South (1926). It is wonderfully lyrical and flawlessly researched. My students have been absolutely swept away by the story and the highs and lows of her friendship with Evette and Beth. I highly recommend this book to adults, young adults, middle schoolers and even elementary school readers. It is wonderful and uplifting from start to finish. Get it and tell everyone you meet about it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 2, 2002
Darby took my breath away. It truly did. I teach middle school and intend to put it on my reading list for next year. Without a doubt, kids will love the spirit and courage demonstrated by the title character. A nine-year-old girl growing up in 1926, South Carolina, Darby (amongst simply living and breathing in the perfectly described time period), for the first time in her short life, becomes aware of the racial inequalities and decides to address them in an article she and one of her best friends writes for the local paper. After that, the troubles begin. I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone, but I will say that it is a gripping, exciting story set off by lovely writing and a huge dose of goodwill and humor. Darby will surely become a classic in classrooms and libraries. Two of my students already read the book (one in a day), and they absolutely raved about it. It's good to have strong female characters in realistic rolls, but it's even better when a whole family shows bravery despite the very real possibility that they will end up as social outcasts. (How often do similar fears grip the occupants of our schools?) An exquisite story for all readers, I highly recommend Darby to educators, students, and even adults. :>)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.