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With the Might of Angels (Dear America Series)

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Overview


Coretta Scott King winner Andrea Davis Pinkney brings her talents to a brand-new Dear America diary about the Civil Rights Movement.

In the fall of 1955, twelve-year-old Dawn Rae Johnson's life turns upside down. After the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Dawnie learns she will be attending a previously all-white school. She's the only one of her friends to go to this new school and to leave the comfort of all that is ...

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Dear America: With the Might of Angels

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Overview


Coretta Scott King winner Andrea Davis Pinkney brings her talents to a brand-new Dear America diary about the Civil Rights Movement.

In the fall of 1955, twelve-year-old Dawn Rae Johnson's life turns upside down. After the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Dawnie learns she will be attending a previously all-white school. She's the only one of her friends to go to this new school and to leave the comfort of all that is familiar to face great uncertainty in the school year ahead.

However, not everyone supports integration and much of the town is outraged at the decision. Dawnie must endure the harsh realities of racism firsthand, while continuing to work hard to get a good education and prove she deserves the opportunity. But the backlash against Dawnie's attendance of an all-white school is more than she's prepared for. When her father loses his job as a result, and her little brother is constantly bullied, Dawnie has to wonder if it's worth it. In time, Dawnie learns that the true meaning of justice comes from remaining faithful to the integrity within oneself.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR DEAR AMERICA:
"More than a supplement to classroom textbooks, this series is an imaginative, solid entree into American history." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"An impressive series that will challenge students to make connections from prominent historical events to relevant life situations. . . . A wonderful asset to the classroom as well as to home libraries." -- CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEW SERVICE

"Engaging accessible historical fiction." -- SLJ

"The Dear America diaries represent the best of historical fiction for any age." -- CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Children's Literature - Jody Little
Part of the "Dear America" series, this novel is set in Hadley, Virginia in 1954 immediately after the United States Supreme Court banned school segregation. Written as a series of diary entries by eleven-year-old Dawnie Rae Johnson, this story begins when her parents make the difficult decision to send her to the nearby white school, even though she will be the only black student in attendance. Dawnie is scared, but her parents believe that they are doing the right thing. They teach Dawnie to be proud and to work hard and show she is worthy of attending the school. Life at the new school is difficult for Dawnie. She has no friends, and she is put-down and bullied by many students and even a few teachers. Life at home is not much better; Dawnie's father loses his job as a result of sending Dawnie to the white school. But the family remains courageous and believes that their lives will improve. Filled with facts and historical figures, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson, this novel addresses the harsh realities, the anger, and the frustrations of the era of school and community integration. This is a well-written, thorough and fascinating novel for elementary and middle school students. Reviewer: Jody Little
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In 1954, Dawnie Rae Johnson receives a diary for her 12th birthday. In it, she chronicles the year of her mundane-no-more life. As one of the brightest African-American students at Mary McLeod Bethune School, she is chosen to integrate the previously all-white Prettyman Coburn public school. She is the lone black student, and she is cursed, spit upon, reviled, ignored, and harassed. Dawnie learns to "lock her lips" through all the racism she experiences, leaning on her family, her church, and her community for support. She also plays baseball and writes imaginary letters to Jackie Robinson, asking him what it was and is like to be the first African American in the major leagues. Dawnie finally makes a friend when a Jewish student, equally reviled, moves from New York City to Hadley. The two support each other, becoming two of the best students at Prettyman. Dawnie's journal is realistic, encompassing thoughts and emotions one would expect of someone so stressed. She is protective of her autistic brother and encouraging when her father is dismissed from his dairy job for racial reasons and her mother becomes the sole breadwinner. The author seamlessly incorporates historical events into the child's journal. The end matter contains age-appropriate photographs, a time line, and brief biographical sketches of the people mentioned. A first purchase.—Lisa Crandall, formerly at Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI
Kirkus Reviews

Coretta Scott King Award–winner Pinkney provides an outstanding contribution to the Dear America series with the diary of the (fictional) first African-American student to integrate the segregated schools of Hadley, Va.

Pinkney paints a vivid picture of a bright 12-year-old who is athletic, fun-loving and full of dreams. She admires Jackie Robinson and is fiercely protective of her autistic younger brother. Shortly after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision is handed down, Dawnie Rae is selected as one of three African-American children who will integrate the Prettyman Coburn school. True to the series' format, the fictional diary entries, chronicle the both events of the primary story arc and fill in telling details of the time and place. Today's readers may well be stunned when Dawnie Rae's Mama and Daddy bluntly tell her the family doesn't have enough money to buy a television, and she goes on to muse about the buying power of the 1954 nickel. While many contemporary accounts of the Civil Rights movement focus on the courage, integrity and character of those who pioneered the struggle, Pinkney does a commendable job imagining both the setting and the inner emotions that ordinary children might have wrestled with as they stepped into history.

A solid entry in an ever-popular series. (historical note, photographs, biographical notes, time line)(Historical fiction. 8-14)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545297059
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Series: Dear America Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 97,740
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Andrea Davis Pinkney is the author of many children's books, including the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book, LET IT SHINE: STORIES OF BLACK WOMEN FREEDOM FIGHTERS; DUKE ELLINGTON, a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor Book; BOYCOTT BLUES: HOW ROSA PARKS INSPIRED A NATION; and most recently the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, SIT-IN: HOW FOUR FRIENDS STOOD UP BY SITTING DOWN. She lives in New York City, where she also works as a children’s book editor.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2012

    looks like a good book!

    purchased for granddaughter, however, my daughter started reading it and couldn't put it down!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    What

    Dont listen to the second part of what the person above my review said. ALL dear america books are good including I walk in dread. Tes the book is sad but it is still a very good book. Trust me.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Hey

    Ok this was the best very insparing!!! Im 10 and i read it when i was 9 love it

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    High Recommend

    The diary is about a girl Dawnie Rae Johnson, that goes to an all-white school, the only black student there. She shows how she never gave up, even though she really wanted to, that she along with her parents never gave up.

    The diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson is the best book I have read, in the view of a young 12 year old girl that for the first time in her life, goes to an all white school. Andrea D. Pinkney has caught the essence in the history of the segregation of the black's from white's. I have read several books as my sister has and have never seen one that even comes close to showing the true nature of what African-American's have went through doing the years.

    I strongly recommend this book to all. Everyone should read this diary and know that even though it is based on some fact, it shows the truth in a child's eye. Everyone go and get a copy, as every child should read it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Amazing Book

    This book is amazing. If you need a histirical fiction book this is the one!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    Veary good

    All dear americas are good except i walk in dread it is super sad

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Best book ever

    Ever

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Veary good book

    Loooks vearry good;we will wait and see...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Very good

    So far from what i've read its very good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

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