Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

One of my student's recommended that I read this book, and of course I had to give it a try....

Lies We Tell Ourselves is about the integration of schools, and we get to hear from two narrators: A Black girl, Sarah, who is integrating a White school and a White Girl, Linda, who was against the integration of the same school.

Now, many of you have seen the pictures of Black children being escorted into schools that they were integrating:

Ruby Bridges integrating a school in the South

However, I never really thought about what happened to the children once they were inside of those schools.

According to Robin's website, she did a lot of research and paints a very vivid image of what could have happened once some of those schools doors were closed. My people, I see the children who integrated schools so differently now; my respect could not be greater.

Sarah, one of the protagonist, and the other Black students who were integrating the schools in his fictitious town in Virginia, endured horrible treatment, everyday and all day at these schools and were put into remedial classes so that they would not slow down the White children.

I did not read a summary of this novel before I read it, so I was completely caught off guard by the modern twist in this story. I am strongly encouraging you to not do a lot of research on this story before you start to read it. (I think you will enjoy this book so much more without knowing the twist.)

Robin does a good job of giving closure to this story, but she also sends a clear message that the struggle would continue in that small town.

This is a book that is quite painful to read; I hate the thought of children enduring such harsh treatment just to attend school, but I think that it is a book that should be read and read over and over again, because this is a part of the American story that needs to be told.

A good book should always make us want to read more books, and this one does exactly that. After reading this book, I am interested in reading some first hand accounts of children who integrated schools. So, I will be on a hunt to track down some of those stories.

Consider putting this one high on your reading list.

My next read is Adultery by Paulo Coelho!

Until the next time!

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