Burg, Shana. 2008. A THOUSAND NEVER EVERS. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780385734707 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-8]
Addie Ann Pickett lives in Kuckachoo, Mississippi in 1963 at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. She has just graduated elementary school and is ready for junior high. The death of Medgar Evers and her family’s boss Old Man Adams sets the tone for the book. Despite its descriptions of the everyday character of Addie Ann’s life, the babysitting, the jumping Double Dutch, the teaching her cat new tricks, life isn’t always pleasant. Old Man Adams dies and leaves his house as a gathering place for the town and his land for a town garden to be worked by both the Negroes and the Whites but things get nasty. When Addie Ann’s brother Elias disappears because of her careless act and a fight with a white boy, when her Uncle Bump is arrested and tried after being accused of destroying the town garden, and when their shed and house are set on fire, she must decide on whether to keep silent or find her voice. While mostly a gentle story of everyday life, the turmoil of the era keeps intruding in Addie’s life in a heart-rending story of a strong young girl.
This is a debut novel by Shana Burg who lives in Austin, Texas.
Use this book for a historical fiction read aloud particularly during Black History Month. Pair with ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY ISBN 9780140384512 and THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM 1963 ISBN 9780440228004 by Christopher Paul Curtis and compare the events of this time period.
Other historical books about the African-American experience in the U.S.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. BUD, NOT BUDDY. ISBN 9780553494105
Nelson, Kadir. WE ARE THE SHIP: THE STORY OF NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL. ISBN 978078680832
Weatherford, Carol Boston. BIRMINGHAM,1963. ISBN 9781590784402
By Jane Claes