Lots of love for this heartfelt novel featuring a boy who has been transplanted from rural Alabama to Chicago in the middle of the Great Migration. Not only is he living in a new setting, he is also missing his mama who died just before his daddy decided they should move. While trying to evade a gang of bullies from his school he stumbles across the neighborhood library and becomes a regular visitor. He is amazed to discover that there are books by a man with his same first name -- Langston. The author weaves the poetry of Langston Hughes into the life of this young boy helping him to keep the memories of his mama alive while growing in his new setting. Highly recommended!
Sometimes it takes very little for a book to be good, but what's needed every time, Finding Langston has despite its short length. It's simple and sweet with memorable characters experiencing growth in various ways, a fully realized and imaginable setting- both in the present and past of the story, and the discovery and exploration of familial ties. Definitely one of the best kids' books this year.
Cline-Ransome packs a lot of the historical into those 104 pages, and just as smoothly as her characterization. I do not pity any young person who would have to write a paper inspired by this book. Cline-Ransome includes an “Author’s Note” to expand on the historical and cultural context and settings of the novel. I know she has written a number of picture books, but I hope Cline-Ransome writes more historical novels for young people, Finding Langston is so rich and compelling. The voices she writes and settings she describes are engaging.
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