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North Town

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These classic novels, set during the Civil Rights era, follow the early years of David Williams, a young man who in the face of violence and bigotry struggles to keep alive his dream of becoming a doctor. A foreword by Rudine Sims Bishop and an afterword by the author's daughter, Ruth Graham Siegrist, Ph.D., place these remarkable novels in the context of their time (South Town was originally published in 1958.) Through the character of David Williams, young readers witness a turbulent era in American history, a...
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2003 ISBN 1-59078-162-7. Hardback. Very good condition book, with slight browning on upper edge of book near spine, in a Very good condition dustjacket. Tight, sound, unmarked ... copy. Reprint edition. $16.95 original price is present and unclipped on front flap of dustjacket. Read more Show Less

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Overview


These classic novels, set during the Civil Rights era, follow the early years of David Williams, a young man who in the face of violence and bigotry struggles to keep alive his dream of becoming a doctor. A foreword by Rudine Sims Bishop and an afterword by the author's daughter, Ruth Graham Siegrist, Ph.D., place these remarkable novels in the context of their time (South Town was originally published in 1958.) Through the character of David Williams, young readers witness a turbulent era in American history, a period marked by unspeakable injustice and life-affirming hope.

When David, an African American teenager, and his family leave the South for a new life up North, he finds that although there is integration, bigotry still exists.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the words of Rudine Sims Bishop, from her foreword, Lorenz Graham "helped pave the way for the development of contemporary African American literature for children and young adults" with his Town novels-South Town; North Town; Whose Town?; and Return to South Town. The four books span 15 years in the life of their protagonist, David Williams, whom readers first meet as a 15-year-old in the rural south of the 1950s. The first title chronicles a dangerous summer for David, when an act of heroism backfires under the constant pressure caused by the bigotry and Jim Crow laws that control his daily life. In North Town, although David's family has moved to a Northern city where racial divisions are less obvious, bigotry makes David's dream of becoming a doctor seem even more remote. Racial violence becomes more pronounced in Whose Town?, as the civil rights movement gathers momentum. Return to South Town features an adult David and his effort to become the first practicing black doctor in his hometown. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The second of Graham's four "Town" books finds sixteen-year-old David Williams and his family emigrating from their racist Deep South town to the Midwestern industrial belt. David's goal is still to become a doctor, and his new integrated high school does give him better prospects, but first he must learn to live within the new system. Scared of the white kids—and even of the middle-class blacks who make overtures of friendship—David hangs out with the wrong crowd and gets himself arrested for car theft. Shocked that a white judge could take his side, David makes a new start. Graham continues to gently unfold his hero's story by compressing the difficult years of the fifties and early sixties. Between David's efforts to prove himself in his classes and on the football team are scenes in church with his northern preacher rallying for the vote—offset by the grumbling of old-school blacks who cannot adapt to political and racial progress. Lorenz Graham was the precursor to African-American literature for children. He paved the way so that later writers such as Christopher Paul Curtis could be heard. Graham's voice is not one of rage, like his contemporary, Richard Wright. It is more placatory, yet realizes that a man may reach a flash point during which he must act—or lose his spirit forever. It is good that his saga of David Williams's struggle and rise within the burgeoning civil rights movement has been reissued for a new generation. 2003 (orig. 1965), Boyds Mills Press, Ages 10 to 14.
— Kathleen Karr
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590781623
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 188
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Lorenze Grham (1902-1989) was a pioneer of African American literature. Like Langston Hughes and Richard Wright, he wrote at a time when few books offered a realistic view of African American life. He is also the author of Tales of Momolu; I, Momolu; Every Man Heart Lay Down; and How God Fix Jonah, an ALA Notable Book.
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