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A Thousand Never Evers    by Shana Burg order for
Thousand Never Evers
by Shana Burg
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Twelve-year-old Addie Anne Pickett lives with her family in Kuckachoo, Mississippi on the Negro side of town. The year is 1963. Medgar Evers has just been murdered. Addie Anne has never heard of Medgar Evers and can't understand how her brother Elias can mourn someone he never met. Addie Anne is not particularly interested in the Civil Rights Movement, but that is about to change.

Addie Anne's family works for Old Man Adams and when he dies he shows his appreciation by leaving them personal items. Addie Anne is thrilled with her gift of a television, even though the Negro side of Kuckachoo has been without electricity since the tornado came through.

Old Man Adams left more important gifts intended to unite the Negro and white citizens of Kuckachoo. He left his house as a gathering spot for the whole community and he left his land to all the people of the Kuckachoo. He wrote in his will, 'Together whites and Negroes shall plant a garden.' Unfortunately, Old man Adams' lawyer leaves the town's racist sheriff and mayor in charge of making sure the house and land are used according to the will. In the events that follow Addie must make decisions that go against her mother's rules about dealing with white folks.

Burg has written an important novel, a gift for young readers who might wonder, 'What was it all about?' or 'Why was the Civil Rights Movement such a big deal?' Addie Anne's story will be a revelation to a generation that was born after the Civil Rights Movement and never experienced the cruelty and violence caused by racism. Note that Shana Burg's web blog is a treasure of meaningful articles and dialog about racial division in today's world.

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