This is historical fiction at its best. A blend of past and present tells the story of the Tulsa race riot of 1921. A tied-in mystery keeps the story moving, but it was the history of Greenwood that kept me from putting this book down.
— From Dreamland Burning
A compelling dual-narrated tale from Jennifer Latham that questions how far we've come with race relations.
Some bodies won't stay buried.
Some stories need to be told.
When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the present and the past.
Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what's right the night Tulsa burns.
Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham's lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important questions about the complex state of US race relations--both yesterday and today.
Praise for Dreamland Burning:
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of the Year Pick
A YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
* "Latham presents a fast-paced historical novel brimming with unsparing detail and unshakeable truths about a shameful chapter in American history... An unflinching, superbly written story about family, friendship, and integrity, set during one of America's deadliest race riots."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)* "
weaves together the story of two well-off, mixed-race teenagers--Rowan, in the present, and Will, who lived in Tulsa in 1921--in this fast-paced, tension-filled look at race, privilege, and violence in America
... This timely story g
ives readers an unflinching look at the problem of racism, both past and present, while simultaneously offering the hope of overcoming that hatred."
—Booklist (starred review)
* "Enthralling, expertly paced."—School Library Journal (starred review)
asks readers to consider the responsibilities of a witness; what it is like to be biracial when belonging to one group is paramount; and about whether saving one person can make a difference in the broader context of society's racial problems."—The Horn Book
"Latham's research for this novel is evident
. The historical period is richly detailed
, offering a window into the racial inequalities and hatred that divided this community."—VOYA
"Wrapped in a detective tale, this is a thoughtful look at racial issues, an exciting whodunit, and a fascinating glimpse into Tulsa history."—School Library Connection