by Anna Myers
My rating: A+
My friend Mandy loaned me this book a few months ago after a discussion about historical fiction. I set it aside and forgot about it for a while. As I was cleaning out my desk the other day, I came across it and realized I needed to get it finished before she moves to Houston (good luck, Mandy!). I didn't have high expectations going into it for some reason, even though she gave it rave reviews. I figured it would be interesting, but only marginally so.
Noble Chase is a 15 year old white boy living in rural 1920's Oklahoma. He's dealing with the death of a father he's not sure he loved or respected, the impure thoughts he's having towards his friend, Cinda, and the persecution of his best friend, a black boy. After the death of his father, Noble is forced to make some decisions and deal with things that no 15 year old should have to face. He has to put up with the morally downtrodden sheriff for his mother's sake, and he has to take on a job in order to help out. Things start to go very wrong in Noble's life when nearby Tulsa is hit by the race riots. Things start to seem less foreign and are hitting very close to home. It's up to Noble to make sure that they don't take away his beloved friend.
I absolutely love how the author handled the issue of race in this book. Obviously, it was a main focus, but it wasn't controversial just for the sake of controversy. The book was told from the point of view of the young white boy who sees the racism, but doesn't participate in it. The dialect is very true to form, and sadly enough, so are the attitudes presented in the book. This wasn't a purely historical account of the riots, but rather a story about a young man's life and how people came together in a time of hatred. I was so touched by this story, and I hope that you'll give it a chance. I literally read it in a few hours' time. Go read it, NOW!