Written from the point of view
of a black child, this book uses a powerful symbol – a fence – to emphasize
the racial division in a southern town. Two young girls, Clover who
is black and Annie who is white, have both been instructed by their parents
not to go on the other side of the fence because it is not safe.
Eventually the story finds both girls and all of their friends sitting
on the fence together. “Someday somebody’s going to come along and
knock this old fence down,” Annie says. What a great metaphor the
author has created for knocking down old beliefs and barriers that keep
people apart. This book is a great way to show that change can happen
little by little – one child at a time.
Prepared by: Aileen Holland
Carolina Children's Book Award
Clover and Annie live next
door to each other, separated by a picket fence that segregates their town.
Clover, who is black, and Annie, who is white, have been warned by their
mothers not to cross the fence. However during the long hot summer the
girls watch each other from a distance, curious and longing to know more
about each other. Read this story of friendship and you will understand
what it was like to live in the days before people in the Civil Rights
Movement began to remove barriers between America's races. (Jean
B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania
Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003-2004)