Mock Newbery Nominee: Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson

This is the last Mock Newbery summary and review before voting ends and we declare a winner! Our final nominee is Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson. This intense piece of historical fiction delves into racism, identity and the choices we make.

Summary: "It’s Mississippi in the summer of 1955, and Rose Lee Carter can’t wait to move north. But for now, she’s living with her sharecropper grandparents on a white man’s cotton plantation. Then, one town over, an African American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. When Till’s murderers are unjustly acquitted, Rose realizes that the South needs a change . . . and that she should be part of the movement." -From the publisher.

The historical setting is vividly realized. The descriptions of the heat of the fields and the poverty of Rose's home life create a constant feeling of oppression. The characters are similarly well described and full of life, the good, bad and in-between. The family dynamics between Rose and Ma Pearl are particularly striking, and often painful. While the historically accurate violence against and treatment of the African-Americans will be hard for younger readers to contextualize, older elementary readers will find Rose's perspective valuable and relatable.

If this story of overcoming intolerance impressed you, make your vote count by visiting our Kid's Page before the end of the day on February 1st. Then check back to find out which book won ICPL's Mock Newbery Award.

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