Saturday, May 12, 2012

With the Might of Angels

There are three things Dawnie Rae Johnson really loves:  her pogo stick, baseball, and school.  Well, she loves learning and writing and the people at her school, but she doesn't love the school itself.  Mary McLeod Bethune is falling apart, the books are old and tattered, and even the pencils are beaten and eraserless, but change is coming.

Dawnie's father gave her an article from the New York Times about school integration to paste into her diary.  This diary will follow all the changes in Dawnie's life from the end of her 6th grade year through her first year at Prettyman Coburn, the white school in Hadley, Virginia.

People are excited about integration, but not everyone thinks it's such a great idea.  In fact, Dawnie is the only African American at her new school.  At first, that fact doesn't matter much because Dawnie has big dreams to become a doctor, and she knows she needs the better materials and supplies she will get at Prettyman, but every day is a new challenge for Dawnie, her family, and the rest of the community.  Prettyman may be beautiful and well supplied with learning materials, but Dawnie will struggle to find support there.  The Johnsons will face threats and intimidation on all sides, but they will also find strength and support when they most need it.  

Based on accounts of real students who bravely integrated all white schools and informed by Andrea Davis Pinkney's, the author's, own experiences as the only African American at her school as a child, With the Might of Angels is a portrait of a girl who learns that she will have to rely on her own determination to achieve her dreams.

No comments:

Post a Comment