27. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction

Lunch-Box Dream by Tony Abbott, 192 pages, read by Angie, on 02/26/2012

Bobby and his family take a trip south to see the Civil War battlefields. Jacob is spending the summer with his aunt and uncle. This book is told from various narrators perspectives and it makes for a very disjointed telling. It is supposed to highlight Jim Crow laws in the South during the 1950s and it does a bit, but it isn’t a very effective story. Bobby is obsessed with death and “chocolate” people. His mom actually wrecks her car to get away from a couple of African Americans (who aren’t doing anything to harm her). It does highlight the irrational fear whites had for blacks at that time. Jacob and his family are black and their story is told from many members of their family’s perspective. It is a very disjointed telling of their experiences living under Jim Crow and being treated as second class. Bobby and Jacob’s stories finally come together at the very end, but it is kind of forced and really doesn’t mesh; overall it is pretty poorly done. This book is supposed to be a testament on civil rights but it really doesn’t work. There are many other books out that do a really good job portraying live during the 1950s and 1960s…this isn’t one of them.

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