Dreamland Burning

By Jennifer Latham

Published 2017

AR level: 5.9

AR points: 13.0

I suggest 6th through 12th grade.9780316384902_p0_v1_s600x595

I think the topic of race is a very salient one at this moment in history. And, I think this book does an excellent job showing where we have been, and where we should be going.

I found myself fascinated as Latham alternated between her two main characters–one present day, and one in the 1920s. The story felt so seamless, and I could not put it down as the events came to a crescendo. I just had to know what would happen!

This book also has some great Oklahoma history in it and covers the race riots in Tulsa in the 1920s. A movie called Tulsa Burning (based on the novel by Anna Myers) will be released in the next few years, so this book is an exciting way to learn more about this turbulent event!

Description from B&N:

Some bodies won’t stay buried.
Some stories need to be told. 

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the present and the past.

Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns.

Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham’s lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important questions about the complex state of US race relations–both yesterday and today.

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