I read almost every genre & I enjoy venturing into unfamiliar territory. As a library volunteer, I'm constantly bringing home novels. Being a substitute teacher, I read lots of YA & children's books.
I loved the friendship between Dit and Emma in this novel. Dit was hoping a boy would step off the train when it rolled into town but unfortunately a girl named Emma hopped off. Not just any girl either, this girl and her family were Negras. With his best friend Chip at his grandmothers all summer, Dit needed a new friend for the summer. Since the new postmaster’s family would be living in a cabin next to Dit’s family home, Dit was told to show Emma around by his mama and it wasn’t long before the two of them were friends. Dit showed Emma all of the fine things that he could do like skipping stones, swimming, playing baseball, and digging a cave. Almost every day the two of them would retire to their cave and relax and talk. I enjoyed reading about how these two children conversed with each other and learned about each other’s world. They didn’t seem to be in competition with each other, they were playing on equal fields. The difference of their skin didn’t matter to them; they were enjoying their summer, just being kids and enjoying life. School is about to begin and Emma has to attend the Negro school which upsets Dit. Dit makes a comment to his father that there are boys who have worked the fields all summer who are darker than Emma who will attend the white school and he doesn’t feel that this is fair. What a wonderful statement and observation on Dit part. Attending school, Dit is harassed by his peers for they have become aware of his friendship with Emma. Their abuse is hard for Dit to take. As the harassment extends to others in the class, Dit cannot watch this type of behavior occur. Dit can no longer stand in the shoes of a bully like he was last year, he has changed. As Dit learns to handle his peers at school, the town must also learn to accept the new changes that the nation has adopted.