Rummanah Aasi
  Friendships are complicated and varied. Some last for a lifetime while others just last for a few days or seasons. A Friendship For Today is loosely based on the real-life experiences of author, Patricia McKissack, and the school integration in St. Louis.

Description: After the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education,  Rosemary's colored school in Kirkland, MO is closed, and students are distributed to neighboring white elementary schools. Determined to prove she is not remedial and up to par with her white schoolmates, Rosemary excels academically and refuses to be racially intimidated or stereotyped. She strikes up an unlikely friendship with mean Grace Hamilton, who is labeled and stereotyped "white trash" by snobby classmates. Rosemary and Grace both open their eyes, witness their similairities, and develop a friendship inspite of the challenges they face.

Review:  I enjoyed reading this book. Rosemary is a smart, observant, and brave girl. She refuses to be trapped in stereotypes and bullied by her classmates. She has a good head on her shoulders. The story does not only focus on Rosemary's difficult transition to a new school but also includes watching her parents get a divorce and her best friend dealing with polio. Rosemary and Grace's friendship is realistic. At one poignant part of the story is where Grace embarrassingly admits that her father believes that white people are superior to other races. It's her friendship and dialogue with Rosemary that Grace now knows better. Even for one day, they both embrace tolerance and similarities.
  While I loved the message of the book and the characters, my main problem with this book is that I didn't like how it was written. I felt that I was being told a story rather than reading one. I wished the author showed more instead of telling. Otherwise this a great historical fiction book for grades 3 to 5.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: The "n" word does appear in the book.

If you like this book try: Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman
1 Response
  1. danya Says:

    Interesting premise for a historical YA (too bad it seems the writing fell short in execution). Also, I've given you an award here !


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