Synopses & Reviews
It's 1966 and Dewey Turner is determined to start the school year right. No more being the brunt of every joke. No more "Deweyitis." But after he stains his face with shoe polish trying to mimic the popular Shoeshine Boy at the minstrel show, he begins seventh grade on an even lower rung, earning the nickname Sambo and being barred from the "whites only" bathroom. The only person willing to talk to him, besides his older brother, Wayne, is fellow outsider Darla Turkel, who wears her hair like Shirley Temple and sings and dances like her, too. Through their friendship, Dewey gains awareness of issues bigger than himself and bigger than his small town of Sand Mountain: issues like race and segregation, the reality of the Vietnam War, abuse, sexuality, and even death and grieving. Written in a riveting, authentic voice, at times light-hearted and humerous and at others devastating and lonely, this deeply affecting story will stay with the listener long after the last chapter is read.
It's the fall of 1966, and twelve-year-old Dewey Turner is determined to start the school year right. No more being the butt of every joke. He?ll be cool ? a Lone Wolf like his older brother, Wayne. But an accident with shoe polish dashes these hopes ? and earns Dewey his worst nickname yet. He finds an unlikely friend in Darla Turkel, the only person at Sand Mountain High who is more of an outcast than he is. Through their friendship, Dewey comes to learn a whole lot about his small town, and about the world outside it, too: things about racism and segregation, secrets, and standing up for what's right.?There is neither too much nostalgia nor message, and readers will be haunted by the drama of harsh secrets close to home.? ? Booklist (starred review)?Watkins pulls off an incredible feat in this novel capturing the racial prejudices and Vietnam War tensions of the era.? ? Voice of Youth Advocates