I received the following book from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Yard War by Taylor Kitchings
Published by Random House Children's Books on August 18th 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher
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It’s 1964 in Jackson, Mississippi, deep in the civil rights movement, and the one black person twelve-year-old Trip Westbrook knows well is Willie Jane, the family maid, who has been a second mother to him. When Trip invites her son, Dee, to play football in the yard, Trip discovers the ugly side of his smiling neighbors. Even his loving grandparents don’t approve. But getting to know Dee and playing football, being part of a team, changes Trip. He begins to see all the unspoken rules he lives by but doesn’t agree with, such as respect your elders. What if he thinks their views are wrong? This engaging, honest, and hopeful novel is full of memorable characters, and brings the civil rights–era South alive for young readers.
It’s been a few months since I dove into a good middle grade novel, so I was excited to give this one a shot. I was a little uncertain what to expect, this book deals with some pretty tough subject matter and I was sort of afraid it would be too glossed over because of being for younger audiences. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how the author went about the book. It was a wonderful read that not only dealt with the plot in a way that did not sugar coat but also put it on the level of the readers the book targets so that they could better get an idea of what life could have been like for them not so long ago. I can actually see Yard Wars going on a recommended reading list for when this point in history is being covered in class. For me, I always liked to read about what I was learning about in a realistic way and this book would be a fantastic way to do that – especially for teen boys.
Historical aspects aside, this book was well written and I found myself really enjoying the author’s writing style. I hope to read more from him in the future. Though I’m not the target audience, I really love a good middle grade novel so I highly recommend if you do too – especially if you love historical fiction, and whether or not you’re the targeted age group. Yard Wars will definitely be going on my list to recommend for young teens on up!