Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade book, "Between the Lines" by Claudia Whitsitt from May 18 to 31, 2015.
Between the Lines
by Claudia Whitsitt
For ages 9+
Between the Lines tells the story of three girls who become friends during the racially-charged aftermath of the 1967 Detroit Riots. Hattie Percha is crushed when the riots start on her tenth birthday, and when she must move away from her treasured childhood home and friends, attending public school for the first time, she’s afraid her life is over. Then, she meets Beverly Jo Nichols, her first black friend, and Crackers, a fearless tomboy. Despite opposition from Hattie’s mother and a racist teacher, the unlikely friends join forces. As the self-proclaimed Dream Girls, they challenge bigotry and intolerance, willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto what’s most precious to them all, their friendship.
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I slow down and sidle up next to Crackers on our way down the hall. “Can you ask your mom if you can come to my house for lunch tomorrow? Beverly’s coming, too.”
“What are you talking about? Beverly’s right there!” I point ahead of me.
“No, stupid. Not Beverly. My mom. My mom is dead.”
My heart stops. “What! Oh, no. I’m really sorry. Why didn’t you tell me before?”
Crackers purses her lips. “Hasn’t come up.” She flashes me a peace sign. “Don’t feel bad. Mom died a long time ago. I’m over it.”
I think about how I lie in bed at night and worry about my parents’ dying. How does someone get over losing her mom? I would be lost without my mom. “How long ago?”
“Before I was four. I was really too little to know what happened.”
“What did happen?”
“She had TB.”
Tuberculosis. I heard about the disease from my dad. One of his distant relatives died from TB. But Crackers’ mom? How horrible! I feel awful. How could I not have known?
I did the math. She’d been without her mom for six years. I couldn’t imagine. “Who takes care of you?”
She rolls her eyes. “My dad, stupid. It’s not like I live by myself.”
I think about my dad. Could he take care of us if something happened to my mom? He can fry eggs on Sunday mornings and grill hamburgers in the summer, but could he do the laundry and take care of us when we were sick? Maybe, but it would be a stretch.
“You’re the only kid, right?”
Crackers nods, then shoves my shoulder with hers. “Don’t worry your pretty little head. Dad and I make a great team.”
"Between the Lines is a powerful piece of historical fiction that must be added to the reading list of every middle grade student."~ 5 Stars, Lori L., Goodreads
"Teachers and parents need to purchase this novel... Parents could use this novel to engage their kids in discussions to help develop a sense of social responsibility, friendship, and morality... Ultimately, this story is inspirational." ~ 5 Stars, Amazon Customer
"This book is a must read for everyone, no matter what age ... I would recommend it highly to be in the curriculum of every 5th and 6th grade classroom. " ~ 5 Stars, Sandra W., Amazon
"My daughter and I read this book together and loved it. It is a story that will stay with both of us for many years to come!" ~ 5 Stars, aleblanc, Amazon
"Between the Lines tells a really heartbreaking but uplifting story, about race and loyalty and friends, in a way that any kid will relate to. A perfect gift book for that hard-to-please youngster!" ~ 5 Stars, Jimmy, Amazon
And here she is. . .
Claudia Whitsitt spent a lifetime teaching special education and writing before becoming a full-time author. She believes in the power of friendship, small acts of kindness, and paying it forward. Nothing makes her happier than spending time with her children, which includes not only the five she raised but the countless students who touched her life over the years.