In Depression-era Alabama, a white boy meets a Black boy from Detroit, who opens his eyes to the complexity and opportunities in their world.
In 1937, the Depression is in full force, Joe Louis is the new heavyweight champion of the world, and Champion Always Luther arrives in Snow Hill, Alabama, changing Brother Sayre’s life forever. Brother lives with his mother and sister in their well-run if run-down boardinghouse. Champion has been sent to live with his aunt, who works for Brother’s family. With Champion, Brother learns all sorts of things―that he enjoys fishing, that he needs glasses, and that there are subtle and powerful rules of race and power that he’s never noticed. A child of privilege, Brother has never questioned the ways of his small southern town―but now he has reason to.
Sara Harrell Banks sets her dramatic story of an adolescent friendship during a troubled, complex time in history, when resources were scarce and segregation was firmly in place.
“Banks’ research on the period is evident, as the fiction is studded with bits of information on topics such as hobo signs and the Federal Arts Project. Brother’s view point is consistent and believable throughout the narrative…” ―Booklist
“This story captures the culture of the South during the Great Depression…I would strongly recommend this book as a purchase. It would be a great recommendation for readers who enjoyed Richard Peck’s ‘A Year Down Yonder.’” ―Arlington Independent School District
“This richly-spun novel provides readers with a vivid description of some of the ways in which economic hardship and racial discrimination worked to shape the lives of people living in the south during the Great Depression.” ―Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Sstudies/Children’s Book Council, 2011
Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts K-6 novels) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2010
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Starred, Intermediate) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2011
KSRA Young Adult Book Award (Nominee) ―Keystone State Reading Association, 2011
AR Level: 4.5
F&P: U, Gr 5, Genre HF
Themes: Depression, Race Relations
BIASC 1: JUV039120 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Prejudice & Racism
BISAC 2: JUV005000 JUVENILE FICTION / Boys & Men
BISAC 3: JUV016150 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century