While this is technically not a YA book, I ended up reading it because several of my library teens told me how much they loved it. The way I see it, a book that has enough YA crossover appeal to win over my teens (and me) belongs on this blog! I’m especially happy that I finished listening to the audiobook before the end of Banned Books Week, since the entire point of the book is that people need to face the harsh realities of the world in which they live if they are ever going to bring about a change.
Jackson, Mississippi, was a dangerous place for “colored” people in the 1960s. The civil rights movement provided hope that better days could be on the horizon, but many people were being hurt, killed, or jailed for even the tiniest infractions. So, you can imagine how hard it would be for recent graduate/journalist Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan [a young white woman] to gain the trust of the black women who work as maids in her town. It’s no surprise to readers that Skeeter succeeds and ends up writing a book of their stories — especially now that this book has been turned into a movie. What’s so amazing about this book, though, is how the chapters transitioned so smoothly between the black maids and the white journalist. The characters have a lot of depth, are utterly believable, and do not feel like the caricatures I feared encountering. Now, I just can’t wait to see the movie to see how it compares!
Happy Banned Books Week!