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Draper, Sharon.
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015
IL 5-8, RL 5.1

(4 booktalks)

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Booktalk #1

Stella Mills is an African American girl living in Bumblebee, North Carolina, in 1932. In Stella's town, white and black people go to different stores, restaurants, schools, and even bathrooms. Things seem confusing to Stella, so at night she sneaks outside and writes in her journal, under the stars. As the feelings of unfairness grow stronger in her town, so does Stella's writing. This story is about a community sticking together through difficult times and being there to support each other. Sharon Draper uses her grandmother's journal for the inspiration for this beautifully written story. 
(Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Program, 2017)

Booktalk #2

Eleven year-old Stella practices her school writing assignments late at night outside under the stars. One night Stella and her brother witness the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross near their house. It’s 1932 and their father has decided to register to vote. But first he has to pass a literacy test. Rules are different for the white folk. They don’t have to pass a test or pay a fee to vote. They are also free to shop at any store and borrow books from the library, but not Stella, her family, or any other Negro living in Bumblebee, NC. (Prepared by: Tambra Pingle, Bridge Creek Elementary School,, South Carolina Book Awards, 2017)

Booktalk #3

Stella lives in the segregated South—in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Ku Klux Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community—her world—is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end. (Vermont DCF Book Award 2017)

Booktalk #4

Segregation is a fact of life in Bumblebee, North Carolina and the citizens have developed a fairly peaceful, if uneasy, daily life.  However, when the Klan appears, loyalties will be tested and families will have to pull together or fall apart as they are confronted by the flames of renewed prejudice.   Ten-year old Stella journals about the experience as she witness the terrors of racism and its ugly aftermath.  However, there are those in town and within her own community who feel that it is time to stand up to the hate and inequality.   (Oklahoma Children’s Sequoyah 2018)

SUBJECTS:     African Americans -- Fiction.
                        Civil rights -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.
                        Ku Klux Klan (1915- ) -- Fiction.
                        North Carolina -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction.
                        Prejudices -- Fiction.
                        Segregation -- Fiction.

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