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 relationsboth yesterday and today.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Jennifer Latham is an army brat with a soft spot for kids, books, and poorly behaved dogs. She's the author of Scarlett Undercover and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and two daughters.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Dreamland Burning is a powerful, informative novel that sheds light on the 1921 race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jennifer Latham impressively ties together the motions of that fateful year to modern day race relations. I wondered how this story was going to work. It's told in alternating perspectives of modern day teen Rowan Chase and Will Tillman who was alive during 1921. Rowan discovers a skeleton in her home that leads back to Will's time. In the present she pushes to find answers while Will's story is superimposed to reveal some of the truths she seeks. Turns out this blend of contemporary and historical fiction works cleverly! I love that this isn't one of those stories where the MC's life is completely changed by the end of the novel. Instead, this is a story of awakening. Rowan is forced to acknowledge the racial issues still prevalent in the world that affect her, even if she's only half black. Will is a character that you think you might hate, but you can't because he's so open with his mistakes. So willing to admit when he's been wrong and has to do better. Reading the experiences of two completely different characters who are learning similar life lessons is the biggest part of what kept me reading and desperate to reach the end. I came to admire Rowan and Will because of their drive to do the right thing when it became clear that they could be apart of something bigger than themselves. One thing that I didn't like is that the modern black women are portrayed stereotypically. Not all black woman have afros or 'press' their hair. In my reality black hair is much more versatile. I'd be happy to find a book that characterized black woman as they actually see them, not as how they might expect to see them. This was a point that I kept coming to whenever a black female character was introduced, but it didn't lessen my overall experience of the story. I want everyone to read Dreamland Burning! It's a story that gets your brain moving and thinking about what you would have done in either Rowan or Will's situation. It's a story you won't soon forget, especially because it's so relevant. *ARC won via NOVL early reviewer program in exchange for an honest review*
I noticed a large trend in these kinds of books where it’s half in the present, and half in the past. It’s not a trend I particularly like as I adore historical fiction and mixing it with things happening in present day takes away the historical aspect, but I gave this book a chance. This one grabbed my attention because of the subject which interests me. I have not heard of the Tulsa Race Riot until I grabbed this book. It was an eye opener, and definitely something that can’t be ignored or forgotten. The switch between Rowan and William is seamless and flows throughout the novel. Rowan attempts to figure out the mystery behind the skeleton while William’s story not only gives you the background information but also gives you the sense and the climate on how it was for African Americans back in those times. The historical aspects of the book is well written and gives you a good general idea. At first, William doesn’t seem that all a likable character. As the plot progresses though, you change your mind as his behavior and outlook changes to something much more favorable. Rowan’s side of the story is interesting too. She’s been pretty much sheltered in a good, privileged life who is also suddenly awakened by recent events affecting herself and others around her. She’s a well written character as well, but I’d have to say I prefer reading William’s side of the story more as I found Rowan’s point of view dragged in a few areas of the story. The plot overall is well done and interesting. The mystery and historical elements of the story also keeps the plot engaging and it’s a good educational read. Definitely something to read more into and a good subject to write about.
What a powerful and gripping story. I love how the author brought together the same story 100 years apart from two different perspectives and a lot of history mixed with mystery