Monday, April 21, 2008
A Thousand Never Evers
Burg, Shana. 2008. A Thousand Never Evers.
Set in 1963, A Thousand Never Evers is an historical fiction novel focusing on the Civil Rights Movement. Our narrator, Addie Ann Pickett, and her family are about to be right in the center of the Civil Rights movement--at least right in the center in their small community of Kuckachoo, Mississippi. While the novel takes its own sweet time in getting started, once it begins, it goes quickly. (And just so you know, the slow beginning does play a big role later on. You just don't realize how big until a bit further on.)
Dignity. Taking a stand. Doing what's right. A Thousand Never Evers is the story of one family's stand--one community's stand to unite for what's right, what's just. Addie Ann is a young girl just getting ready to start seventh grade. When she goes to the corner store in town she never expected to start the family down a long and difficult road. She was merely out of honey. Her "crime"? Making eye contact with a white child. And having that eye contact noticed by the girl's mama. Instead of bowing down and begging forgiveness, she giggles because the woman is wearing a strange hat. When two older boys--white teens--start to bully her, threaten her, her older brother, Elias, steps in to protect his sister. How could he let two white boys (old enough to know better) beat up on his defenseless (and innocent) sister. The confrontation isn't pretty. One of the boys, the white boys, has a broken leg. But Elias, poor Elias, he's on the run for his life. He can't go home. It's not safe for him to stay anywhere near his hometown. To protect his sister, he had to forfeit his own life--at least his own life in that community.
And Elias isn't the only one taking risks these days. There comes a time when everyone must decide for themselves how much they can stand, how much they can tolerate, and when the right time to act, to move is. The time has come for this small community. And you, the reader, are along for the ride.
Shana Burg's official site.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews