Sunday, March 21, 2010

Audio-Lit: A Thousand Never Evers


My commute to and from work is not a long one. Every day, I drive about a half an hour to work and back. So, I have about an hour's worth of time in my car every day. Recently, I decided that just listening to National Public Radio (NPR) every day was not the best use of my time. I say this because I often end up hearing the same stories repeated or I am driving home while classical music is playing. As much as I try, I cannot listen to classical music. It's almost maddening to me.

Last week, I decided it was high time that I visit my local library to see what they have for audiobooks. I figure that I can listen to a book every week or two as I'm driving. I know that our library is small and I might not be able to hear all of my favorites in this manner, but there are definitely some worth listening to. The first title I chose is called A Thousand Never Evers and it was written by Shana Burg.

In this story, Addie Ann Pickett is in the midst of a Civil Rights revolution. The trouble for Addie is that she doesn't quite understand all that's going on and what her place in this movement should be. She is a poor black girl growing up in the South during the early 1960's. Medgar Evers has just been killed. Lynchings, the struggle for voting rights, Jim Crow Laws, race riots, and overt racism are all a part of her life. It's not until the a representative for the NAACP comes to spur on activism in her town that Addie's awareness of the differences between life for African Americans in other parts of the country and in her small town come into focus.

To help make matters more pressing, a wealthy white landowner dies and leaves six garden acres to the whites and blacks in his community. What happens next is predictable for the time period: The whites disregard the deceased man's wished and declare the acreage "whites-only".

This book is probably most suited to a middle grade audience, though I could see upper elementary students and high school students who're interested in Civil Rights enjoying it as well. There is a ton of historical information contained in this novel. I'm sure that the audio and print versions of this story could inspire many lesson and unit plans.

This first audio adventure has been successful. I'll have to see what other audiobooks the Strong Public Library has in its stacks!

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