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Jubilee Journey
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Jubilee Journey

5.0 1
by Carolyn Meyer

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A young girl discovers her turbulent family history


A young girl discovers her turbulent family history

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Meyer's strength is her large cast of compelling, multi-dimensional characters, whom readers will take to heart."--Booklist
Children's Literature - A. LaFaye
Creatively breaking the "show, don't tell" rule of good writing, Meyer uses storytelling to continue where White Lilacs left off. Here, biracial Emily Rose takes a journey with her mother and brothers to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Juneteenth with her great-grandmother. Emily had been told she was double, but her new friend, and sometimes enemy, Brandy insists that Emily's black and ignorant of her own culture. The biracial issue is never fully resolved, but Emily does learn the importance of her black family history through the storytelling of her elderly family members. Using this telling mode, Meyers tries to cram 75 years of racial history into one novel. She fails to do the history justice, but she does tell a compelling story of one girl's search for self.
VOYA - Alice Stern
This sequel to White Lilacs (Gulliver, 1993/VOYA December 1993) takes place three generations after the story of Rose Lee Jefferson, who saw her close African-American neighborhood destroyed in 1920s Texas. We meet Rose Lee's great-granddaughter, thirteen-year-old Emily Rose Chartier, who lives in Connecticut with her white father, black mother, and two brothers. She and her brothers have been raised to believe they are lucky to have a "double" heritage. Emily Rose's image of herself is jolted, however, when she, her mother, and brothers go to Texas to visit her great-grandmother. At first Emily Rose's immersion into this tight African-American community makes her feel defensive and at odds with this heritage, but eventually she begins to realize she has been neglectful of it. In addition, when her older brother starts dating a white girl, the concerns of his family and the violent reactions of some whites make Emily Rose realize that race is a much more complex issue than she had supposed. Ultimately, she decides to stay on with her great-grandmother for the rest of the summer, after her mother and brother return to Connecticut. Jubilee Journey has all the characteristics of a satisfying sequel-revisiting cared-about characters, discovering "whatever happened to," etc. It also succeeds as a stand-alone novel, with well-developed characters, especially the engaging protagonist. The author confronts difficult issues without becoming didactic. This one will be easy to sell to fans of contemporary YA fiction. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9This sequel to White Lilacs (Harcourt, 1993) takes a while to get going. At the conclusion of that book, Rose Lee and her family were struggling to cope with their enforced move to the Flats. The Texas town of Freedom had been demolished and the black community was trying to avoid complete disintegration. Jubilee begins some 75 years later in Connecticut with Emily Rose, 13, who knows little or nothing about her great-grandmother, Rose Lee; Juneteenth; or her black heritage. Her family is close to her father's white parents, but disconnected from her black Texas roots. The girl sees herself as both black and white, a "double." When, at Rose Lee's invitation, Emily and her siblings accompany their mother to Texas, the girl begins to learn about her African-American roots. Rose Lee, the teen heroine of White Lilacs, now in her 80s, tells about the family during the intervening years, and Emily's mother, Susan, fills in some background. For readers unfamiliar with the Juneteenth celebration, there is some good information here, but the valuable author's note included in the earlier title is not in the sequel. This absence of grounding leaves the story floating and of interest only to those who loved the first book. Those youngsters, in turn, will find disconcerting the fade of Rose Lee's voice in the second half of Jubilee, and her obituary seems tacked on to the ending. Virginia Hamilton's Plain City (Scholastic, 1993) has a richness and honesty that is lacking here.Carol A. Edwards, Minneapolis Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Meyer connects generations in this sequel to White Lilacs (1993), set 75 years later, as 13-year-old Emily Rose goes from Connecticut to Texas to celebrate Juneteenth with her 87-year-old great-grandmother Rose Lee. It's a journey of self-discovery in more ways than one: Biracial Emily Rose knows more about her father's French-Canadian family than her mother's African- American heritage, and is puzzling over her sense of identity. She and her two brothers are not prepared for the discrimination they encounter on the bus trip, the church burnings they hear discussed, or the sharp racial divisions they see when they arrive. Still, their eyes aren't really opened until brother Steven is beaten and arrested for hanging out with a white girl. Meyer develops the story at a leisurely pace, introducing large numbers of people, switching the point of view from Emily Rose to Rose Lee at odd moments, repeating thoughts or anecdotes, weaving in elements—e.g., Emily Rose's new journal, mentioned once, and her feelings about being biracial—then leaving them to dangle. Patient readers will be rewarded by learning how the characters of the first book turned out and will come to admire the lively young protagonist who shares her great-grandmother's strength of character.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x (d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Meyer's strength is her large cast of compelling, multi-dimensional characters, whom readers will take to heart."—Booklist  

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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Jubilee Journey 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago