Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Reading 2011, III

Just finished a third book!  I had picked up a copy of Melba Patillo Beals' White is a State of Mind a few years ago and finally decided to read it.  It was excellent, though not quite what I expected.  This book is a sequel to her first book Warriors Don't Cry, which covers her junior year integrating Central High in Little Rock. This book picks up with her anticipation of her senior year, then covers the closing of the Little Rock high schools to try to stop integration and her personal events that year, Beals moving to California for her safety, and her subsequent life there as she reaches adulthood.

It was beautifully written and I wondered if Ms. Beals had some background in English.  Indeed she has a background in journalism (Columbia grad!).  It gave me an opportunity to review briefly the Little Rock 9 and their place in history (I'd heard of them, but knew none of the names).

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it was different!  It was a very spiritual book. She was quite upfront on her Christian upbringing and wanting to please God, often praying or journaling to Him.  It was also more of a "coming of age"  tale than I would have thought.  It did hold my interest and was inspirational at times.

The only - and small - critique - I have is that a lot of the chapters seem to end on cliffhangers.  I'm just not that keen on them  (they make me feel manipulated) and this was a good story anyway; even if the chapter didn't have a cliffhanger, I still wanted to continue reading (even if it had to be the next day...).

It is also a very honest book; she really lays bare her challenges and feelings - as well as her victories.

Anyway, this is one I can definitely recommend!

Next up:  I will probably go with a historical romance.  Ok, not that substantive probably, but I do like variety and not necessarily weightiness all the time!

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