- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Alligator Bayouby Donna Jo Napoli
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.)
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
What Our Readers Are Saying
Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » General
Young Adult » General