My Year in the Middle
author/illustrator: Lila Quintero Weaver
Miss Garrettís classroom is like every other at our school. White kids sit on one side and black kids on the other. I'm one of the few middle-rowers who split the difference.
Sixth-grader Lu Olivera just wants to keep her head down and get along with everyone in her class. Trouble is, Luís old friends have been changing lately ó acting boy crazy and making snide remarks about Luís newfound talent for running track. Luís secret hope for a new friend is fellow runner Belinda Gresham, but in 1970 Red Grove, Alabama, blacks and whites donít mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign against the current governor, Albert Brewer, growing tensions in the state ó and in the classroom ó mean that Lu canít stay neutral about the racial divide at school. Will she find the gumption to stand up for whatís right and to choose friends who do the same?
In a racially polarized classroom in 1970 Alabama, Luís talent for running track makes her a new best friend ó and tests her mettle as she navigates the schoolís social cliques.