About the Book
Title: Between the Lines | Author: Claudia Whitsitt | Publication Date: March, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 318 | Recommended Ages: 9+
Summary: Between the Lines tells the story of three girls who become friends during the racially-charged aftermath of the 1967 Detroit Riots. Hattie Percha is crushed when the riots start on her tenth birthday, and when she must move away from her treasured childhood home and friends, attending public school for the first time, she’s afraid her life is over. Then, she meets Beverly Jo Nichols, her first black friend, and Crackers, a fearless tomboy. Despite opposition from Hattie’s mother and a racist teacher, the unlikely friends join forces. As the self-proclaimed Dream Girls, they challenge bigotry and intolerance, willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto what’s most precious to them all, their friendship.
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Between the Lines came to fruition as the result of a promise I made to my fifth grade students. Writing a book of historical fiction for middle grades was a new venture for me, but as a lover of historical fiction, it proved a welcome task.
I grew up in Detroit in the fifties and sixties, a thriving metropolis then, but also during a tumultuous time in U.S. history. The Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, the Cultural Revolution about clothing, music, drugs, dress, social responsibility, and schooling, all meant the world was about to change.
When the Detroit Riots started, I was fifteen years old, a prime age for questioning the mores of the world, amidst sorting out who I was and where I fit in the world. The riots sparked new and troubling questions, which I easily recalled. But as I began research and interviews for the book, I realized that I wasn’t the only one with a story to tell. One of my best friends, Beverly Johnson, had grown up as a black girl in Detroit, and her experience was much different from mine.
This led to my decision to include her story in Between the Lines, as well as her personality in the character of Beverly Jo. Fiction characters met reality, and the story took a shape in a far more compelling manner than I had ever imagined. Beverly was the victim of cruelty, prejudice, and racism and the book took on a life of its own.
I included her story in Between the Lines, and as an added plus, decided to use another friend for the basis of the character, Crackers (voted reader’s favorite). Both Beverly and Ann McCracken were college friends and the opportunity to rekindle their friendship through this story made sense. They both attended the book’s launch and signed books as their characters. This made history come to life for both my young and older readers. Through the fictional creation of real-life friends, I captured the importance of friendship at any cost.
Eventually, there will be a sequel, Beyond the Lines, which will further discuss friendship in the face of hardship, crossing boundaries, and societal expectations.
The Buzz"Between the Lines is a powerful piece of historical fiction that must be added to the reading list of every middle grade student."~ 5 Stars, Lori L., Goodreads
"Teachers and parents need to purchase this novel... Parents could use this novel to engage their kids in discussions to help develop a sense of social responsibility, friendship, and morality... Ultimately, this story is inspirational." ~ 5 Stars, Amazon Customer
"This book is a must read for everyone, no matter what age ... I would recommend it highly to be in the curriculum of every 5th and 6th grade classroom. " ~ 5 Stars, Sandra W., Amazon
"My daughter and I read this book together and loved it. It is a story that will stay with both of us for many years to come!" ~ 5 Stars, aleblanc, Amazon
"Between the Lines tells a really heartbreaking but uplifting story, about race and loyalty and friends, in a way that any kid will relate to. A perfect gift book for that hard-to-please youngster!" ~ 5 Stars, Jimmy, Amazon
About the Author: Claudia WhitsittClaudia Whitsitt spent a lifetime teaching special education and writing before becoming a full-time author. She believes in the power of friendship, small acts of kindness, and paying it forward. Nothing makes her happier than spending time with her children, which includes not only the five she raised but the countless students who touched her life over the years.
"Between the Lines" Blog Tour Schedule (2015)May 18
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Contest closes: June 7, 11:59 pm, 2015 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Claudia Whitsitt and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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