Return to South Town by Lorenz B. Graham, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Return to South Town

Return to South Town

by Lorenz B. Graham

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - 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 last of Graham's four "Town" books concludes the saga of David Williams as he returns to his childhood home at the age of thirty—armed with a medical degree. Attitudes have improved in the fifteen years since he fled North, but a few diehard racists still hold fast. It's his old nemesis, Harold Boyd, who David must fight this time for the right to gain his local license to set up a family practice. Through the fortuitous deus ex machina of a plane crash, David is allowed to prove his capabilities and confront Boyd. In the process of retelling recent history, Graham's hero becomes a symbol for struggling young blacks. Feelings of powerlessness and occasional anger imbue David, but his shyness and passivity keep him from becoming a major player in events, except where they really matter, in education. This is Lorenz Graham's true message: Education shall make you free. The author 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. Even as the series becomes more tract than fiction, 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. 1976), Boyds Mills Press, Ages 12 up.
— Kathleen Karr

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Age Range:
12 Years

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