Monday, May 7, 2012

Book It - One Mississippi

This week’s featured book:

One Mississippi
Author: Mark Childress


You need only one best friend, Daniel Musgrove figures, to make it through high school alive. After his family moves to Mississippi just before his junior year, Daniel finds fellow outsider Tim Cousins. The two become inseparable, sharing a fascination with ridicule, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and Arnita Beecham, the most bewitching girl at Minor High. But soon things go terribly wrong. The friends commit a small crime that grows larger and larger, and threatens to engulf the whole town. Arnita, the first black prom queen in the history of the school, is injured and wakes up a different person. And Daniel, Tim, and their families are swept up in a shocking chain of events.

My Comments:

It takes a very talented writer like Mark Childress to balance ‘hilarious and horrifying’ in the same book. This is a witty, heartbreaking and touching coming-of-age story of two best friends in a small town in Mississippi in the 1970's when schools were mandated by law to integrate.

The author does a remarkable job chronicling small town southern lives, and boldly addresses complex issues that never seem to have clear answers: religion, race, bullying, violence, inter-racial relationships, sexuality and mental illness.

This thought-provoking and utterly captivating story is told by Daniel, and as you keep reading, you’ll get swept up in the emotional, sometimes comical and often heartbreaking year in the life of one Mississippi town. And the angst and hormonal agony of the teenage years.

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