“A moving story about finding one’s center in the midst of overwhelming external pressure.” — Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Sixth-grader Lu Olivera just wants to keep her head down and get along with everyone in her class. The trouble is, Lu’s old friends have been changing lately — acting boy crazy and making snide remarks about Lu’s newfound talent for running track. Lu’s secret hope for a new friend is fellow runner Belinda Gresham. But in 1970 in Red Grove, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign against the current governor, Albert Brewer, growing tensions in the state — and in the classroom — mean that Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide at school. Will she find the gumption to stand up for what’s right and to choose friends who do the same?
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