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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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Alligator Bayou

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Alligator Bayou Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Talullah, Louisiana. 1899.

Calogero, his uncles, and cousins are six Sicilian men living in the small town of Tallulah, Louisiana. They work hard, growing vegetables and selling them at their stand and in their grocery store.

To 14-year-old Calogero, newly arrived from Sicily, Tallulah is a lush world full of contradictions, hidden rules, and tension between the Negro and white communities. Hes startled and thrilled by the danger of a gator hunt in the midnight bayou, and by his powerful feelings for Patricia, a sharpwitted, sweet-natured Negro girl. Some people welcome the Sicilians. Most do not. Calogeros family is caught in the middle: the whites dont see them as equal, but befriending Negroes is dangerous. Every day brings Calogero and his family closer to a a terrifying, violent confrontation.

Review:

"Based on the 1899 lynching of five Italian immigrants, this thought-provoking book draws its power from vivid depictions of late — 19th-century Louisiana and little-known historical facts. Settled in smalltown Tallulah, 14-year-old Calogero and a handful of other Sicilian immigrants find themselves isolated: by law they are not 'white,' but white people discourage them from mixing with Negroes (the sheriff, forbidding Calogero to attend the town school, advises him that he'd be better off uneducated than attending the Negroes' school). But social pressure doesn't keep Calogero from a budding romance with smart, pretty Patricia, even after he's almost beaten up for 'fraternizing with them cotton pickers.' Napoli (Hush) sketches out some economic and political roots of racism as the white citizens' resentment of the Sicilians builds. While the author leaves some seams showing in her attempt to incorporate background information, her protagonists are convincingly vulnerable, and the violent climax will ensure that readers remember her message. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

It's 1899, and to a 14-year-old Sicilian immigrant, Louisiana is a lush world full of hidden rules and tension between the Negro and white communities. He's thrilled by a 'gator hunt in the bayou, and by his powerful feelings for a sweet Negro girl.

About the Author

Donna Jo Napoli is the award-winning author of many distinguished books for young readers, among them The King of Mulberry Street and Daughter of Venice. She lives with her family in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, where she is a professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385746540
Author:
Napoli, Donna Jo
Publisher:
Wendy Lamb Books
Subject:
Prejudices
Subject:
Country life
Subject:
General
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Uncles
Subject:
General Juvenile Fiction
Subject:
Historical - United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Children s-General
Publication Date:
20090331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.56x5.86x.97 in. .86 lbs.
Age Level:
12-12

Related Subjects


Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » General
Young Adult » General

Alligator Bayou New Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Wendy Lamb Books - English 9780385746540 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Based on the 1899 lynching of five Italian immigrants, this thought-provoking book draws its power from vivid depictions of late — 19th-century Louisiana and little-known historical facts. Settled in smalltown Tallulah, 14-year-old Calogero and a handful of other Sicilian immigrants find themselves isolated: by law they are not 'white,' but white people discourage them from mixing with Negroes (the sheriff, forbidding Calogero to attend the town school, advises him that he'd be better off uneducated than attending the Negroes' school). But social pressure doesn't keep Calogero from a budding romance with smart, pretty Patricia, even after he's almost beaten up for 'fraternizing with them cotton pickers.' Napoli (Hush) sketches out some economic and political roots of racism as the white citizens' resentment of the Sicilians builds. While the author leaves some seams showing in her attempt to incorporate background information, her protagonists are convincingly vulnerable, and the violent climax will ensure that readers remember her message. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , It's 1899, and to a 14-year-old Sicilian immigrant, Louisiana is a lush world full of hidden rules and tension between the Negro and white communities. He's thrilled by a 'gator hunt in the bayou, and by his powerful feelings for a sweet Negro girl.
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