White Lilacs

( 13 )

Overview

In 1921 in Dillon, Texas, twelve-year-old Rose Lee sees trouble threatening her black community when the whites decide to take the land there for a park and forcibly relocate the black families to an ugly stretch of territory outside the town.

In 1921 in Dillon, Texas, twelve-year-old Rose Lee sees trouble threatening her black community when the whites decide to take the land there for a park and forcibly relocate black families to...

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Overview

In 1921 in Dillon, Texas, twelve-year-old Rose Lee sees trouble threatening her black community when the whites decide to take the land there for a park and forcibly relocate the black families to an ugly stretch of territory outside the town.

In 1921 in Dillon, Texas, twelve-year-old Rose Lee sees trouble threatening her black community when the whites decide to take the land there for a park and forcibly relocate black families to an ugly stretch of territory outside the town.

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Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Michaeline Chance-Reay
Carolyn Meyer has taken a kernel of history and imagined a most moving elaboration and yet another memorable female protagonist. Rose Lee Jefferson draws each house in Freedomtown, including her grandfather's, which contains the extraordinary garden where the rare white lilacs grow, to create an illustrated historical record before the town is literally moved away. During the 1920s, the residents of Denton, Texas-the white, voting residents, that is-actually did move an African-American community to make room for a city park. The novel contrasts the lives of Rose Lee and her relatives with those of the white family for whom they work. This is a realistic portrayal of the precarious existence of African-Americans in the South and how their sense of community and faith helps them survive. Varying attitudes towards segregation are reflected in the actions of both segments of the town, and unlikely heroes emerge. Meyer gives us believable characters and a good story which will give middle school and high school readers a greater understanding of the human drama in American history.
Janice Del Negro
In 1921 the "colored" section of the Texas town of Dillon was called Freedom. It had its own school, its own churches, a general store, homes, and gardens. When the white residents of Dillon vote to turn the area into a town park, the residents of Freedom realize their loss is a foregone conclusion. The subsequent dismantling of the community and the businesses and families living and thriving there is seen through the eyes of Freedom teenager Rose Lee Jefferson. Characterizations and relationships ring true as Meyer depicts the black community chillingly intimidated by a silent Ku Klux Klan march; the tarring and feathering of Henry, Rose Lee's brother, a World War I veteran who refuses to buckle under to a rich white man's son; and Rose Lee's enlisting the aid of the daughter of the same rich white man to smuggle Henry to safety. Through it all, Rose Lee chronicles the last days of Freedom in a sketchbook, drawing pictures in an effort to capture the reality and spirit of the place she thought would always be home. Based on a true story, "White Lilacs" has a concrete sense of time and place that will transport readers so effectively that their view of the present may be forever altered.
From the Publisher
"Meyer's writing style is accessible and engaging, making this a good read or an easy curriculum connection to the multicultural mainstream."—Booklist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606173605
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Format: Library Binding

Meet the Author

Carolyn Meyer is the acclaimed author of more than fifty books for young people. Her many award-winning novels include Mary, Bloody Mary, an ABA Pick of the Lists, an NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, a New York Times bestseller; White Lilacs, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age, and an IRA Young Adults' Choice; and Marie, Dancing, a BookSense Pick. Ms. Meyer lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit her website at www.readcarolyn.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    White Lilacs

    Have you heard about the Civil Rights Movement? If you have, then you could make some connections between that and White Lilacs by Carolyn Meyer. White Lilacs is about a twelve year old African American girl, overhearing some white women discussing moving the blacks out of Freedomtown into a junky, gross-smelling place so the whites will have yet another park. Her friends, and her family, are being forced to leave Freedomtown, Texas by the white people of the town of Dillon, due to their race. The K.K.K. (or Ku Klux Klan) burn a cross in front of their church when they refuse to leave. Then they burn down the schoolhouse so they can't have school. The blacks are trying to fight back, but will it work? Will they be able to fight for what's right and get to stay where they have always lived? Or will they just give up and live their lives in misery? <BR/><BR/> Rose Lee is very brave. She is thoughtful, shy, loyal, and adventurous. She is a tall African American, has brown hair, and is only twelve years old when Poppa tells her to spy on the white people. Father to Rose Lee, Poppa, is very proud, serious, and loyal. He is a very tall and muscular man, and is very informational. He tells Rose Lee to spy on Mrs. Bell who happens to be the one woman he despises the most. She is causing the move of blacks from Freedomtown. Mrs. Bell is a very rich, stuck-up, snooty woman. Her blonde hair, blue eyes, and thin body are always up to no good. Momma, Grandpa Jim, Henry, Catherine Jane, and Aunt Tillie are just a few of the supporting characters, also fighting for their right to live in Freedomtown.<BR/><BR/> White Lilacs is an amazing book. I liked that I could read it with no problems, and it always kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I loved how all of the characters are different, have their own opinions, and their own talents. I liked how the words were very descriptive, and I could understand them. There aren't any huge twists, or remakes of other stories, so this one is unique. If I had to rate this book on a scale of one to ten, I would give it an eleven. It is a very good book and I recommend it to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2008

    Realistic, without being too graphic

    Rose Lee's story of her life in and out of Freedomtown is one that clearly demonstrates the struggles of the African-Americans during the early 1900's. Rose Lee's love for her home, her town, her freedom is tainted by the fact that though slavery has ended, the whites are still in control of their lives. The author carefully weaves strong African figures into the story, as well as those who are too tired or too afraid to be strong themselves. Meyer also includes a few passionate, sympathetic whites who also show their strength in their support of equallity for ALL men. What I liked most is that the author was able to give the readers a real idea of the characters' strife, without resulting to graphic and frightening events. The readers are told enough to know the situation, but the story does not become grotesque.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2004

    sad but true

    it was a good book, very sad, but too true. it tells about doings of the kkk, and other segregation- related happeneings.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2003

    ~* THIS IS A WONDERFUL BOOK!!! *~

    I thought it was great! The friendships in the book were wonderful and so were the characters. There was a good plot too. I read this book and I would read it again and again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2002

    WHITE LILAC'S DOESN'T BLOOM AT ALL DURING THE SPRING!!!!

    My English Class read this book as well as I, and White Lilacs just didn't bloom at all. Rose Lee is a character from Freedomtown. She and the other black people in the city trie to elude the people who want to tear Freedomtown down. The book starts out slow. The pace picks up faster towrds the middle, but is boring at the end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2001

    this was a good book

    i had to read this book for a book report this year in 9th grade. i really liked it. i dont like to read much because i dont follow what i am reading, but this book made sense and i followed it clearly. it made you think about how lucky you really are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2001

    Wonderful Book. I loved It !!!

    It was a great book about african-americans and about there rights. This girl lives in the town Dilon and is about to have to move because whites want to make there town a park. It is about her life and what she has to go through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2001

    I loved it

    I loved white lilacs. it had a great selection of words and it had a wonderful plot. I read it twice

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2000

    wowy!

    i read this when i was in 6th grade i luved it and i was just thinking about it and im gonna buy it and read it a million times more i have no clue y but i really thought this was a really good book i think im into the kinda stuff that is in it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2000

    This book was Fantastic!!

    I loved this book. Although I am only in 8th grade, I had to read this book for school and totally fell in love with the charecters. I came to Barns & Noble.com because i was looking for books by the same author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2000

    White Lilacs

    This book is really good for people that like to read about black history! If you have not read it yet, try it and join in on the magic!***** five stars!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2000

    White Lilacs

    This book is very intersetng in the fact that it is about afro-americans from the past! I enjoy those types of books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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