Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Red Rose Box

February is Black History Month and we have several books on display in the youth/teen department that we hope you'll take the time to investigate. One book you might enjoy is The Red Rose Box, by Brenda Woods. This is Ms. Woods first novel and was awarded the Coretta Scott King Honor in 2003. It's 1953 and ten year old Leah, a poor black girl from Louisiana, receives an unexpected surprise in the mail one day from her aunt, a red rose box. It immediately opens the door in Leah's mind to all the possibilities the world has to offer. She treasures the box and all of its beautiful contents: shiny jewelry, expensive soaps and train tickets to visit Aunt Olivia in California. Leah's mother agrees to put aside her differences with her glamorous sister and takes Leah and young Ruth to California. And for the first time in their lives, Leah and her family are free. They don't have to ride the back of the bus in California, they don't have to drink from a separate water fountain or enter the back door to shops and restaurants. After returning to Louisiana, Leah and young Ruth are again invited to vacation with Aunt Olivia, this time in New York. While there, Leah loses what she loves most dearly and simultaneously gains a new, exciting life filled with freedoms she never knew existed. The Red Rose Box will take you on a sentimental, moving journey and because it's so well written, it will be just a little easier for you to imagine what it must be like to be a poor black girl in the rural south during a time of great social change in our country.

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