Thursday, June 12, 2008
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
I love reading good historical fiction. I haven't read McBride's previous work that received such acclaim, but I'll be looking for it now. This is a book about slavery and so much more. In one small acreage of Maryland in a short amount of time, so much happen. One woman with head damage dreams about the future (gangs, TVs, and MLK, Jr. ) . One young slave dreams of running, but has a close relationship to his white owner's son and doesn't. A white boy is kidnapped by a wild black man living in the woods. A black boy is brought to town injured and not speaking English. Wow. So much happens. But the action is plot-driven. It's character-driven. The reader really gets to know the white slave owner who isn't really sure what to think about slavery. And the beautiful black young woman who dreams of the future. And the other characters are drawn equally well.
This book would be great on an American History reading list, but I'm not too sure if PHS kids would stick with it. The mature readers would. It's worth it. And I was very surprised by the book's ending, which is always a good thing with me!