{Book Review} Yard War by Taylor Kitchings

» 19 August, 2015 » 4 Star Review, 4 Stars » 0 comments

{Book Review} Yard War by Taylor KitchingsYard War by Taylor Kitchings
Published by Random House Children's Books on August 18th 2015
Genres: 20th Century, General, Historical, Prejudice & Racism, Social Issues, United States, Young Adult
Pages: 224
Format: ARC
Amazon four-stars
It’s 1964 in Jackson, Mississippi, deep in the civil rights movement, and the one black person twelve-year-old Trip Westbrook knows well is Willie Jane, the family maid, who has been a second mother to him. When Trip invites her son, Dee, to play football in the yard, Trip discovers the ugly side of his smiling neighbors. Even his loving grandparents don’t approve. But getting to know Dee and playing football, being part of a team, changes Trip. He begins to see all the unspoken rules he lives by but doesn’t agree with, such as respect your elders. What if he thinks their views are wrong? This engaging, honest, and hopeful novel is full of memorable characters, and brings the civil rights–era South alive for young readers.

​Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Trent Westbrook is just like every other American boy in the 60’s in that he loves one thing… football. Football to him is the American pastime that captures the excitement of every person in Jackson. This book isn’t just about football in the 60’s however, its also about a young man and his family’s struggle with the racism that came from a simple game of football. Based on his own real life experiences, the author creates a world in the newly integrating world of the deep south. Seeing through the lens of a young boy brings to prospective what these kids had to go through at such a young age.

​Trent is a young man confused by the views of some family and neighbors. To him the separation and treatment of his black friends makes no sense. Why shouldn’t he be able to play a game of football with his young friend Dee? For a young boy who simply wants to have fun these questions bring about a darker side of his town that Trent is see and grow through it.

​Yard War does a great job of teaching a darker side of our history to the younger generation by putting it in their perspective. Instead of reading about a young white and black boy angering the fellow towns people by playing football together through a text book or news article, this book gives young readers the opportunity to see this era through the eyes of some one like themselves. Taylor Kitchings creates some great characters and provides the perfect tool to learn history at a young age. To write on such a topic for a debut novel is a strong risk, however I think the author has created something that would connect with countless children in our country today.


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