Title: Lies We Tell Ourselves
Author: Robin Talley
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: September 30, 2014
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.
Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously
all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school,
she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.
Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of
school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races
should be kept separate but equal.
Forced to work together on a
school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race,
power and how they really feel about one another."
My Two Cents:
We Tell Ourselves" is a historical fiction story that takes place in
1959 Virginia. Schools are just becoming desegregated and as Virginia is
in the south, desegregation does not come as easily as it should. The
high school where Sarah and Linda attend is especially having difficulty
integrating the school peacefully. Sarah is one of the first black
students to ever go to this particular high school. Linda is white and
her parents to believe that school should not be desegregated.
to school where everyone didn't look the same as I did is something
that I have always taken for granted. I went to school in Maryland,
Virginia's next-door neighbor so seeing what it was like so close to
where I grew up just a few decades ago really hit home for me. The news
today still has strong undertones of various groups feeling like they
are superior to others and wanting to be separate. This book shows us
how far we've come but how far we still have to go is striking.
think it is so important for everyone, particularly young people, to
remember that things now are not the way that they were in the past.
When you see schools today they're much different than they were back in
the late 1950s. It's important for people to remember that there used
to be segregation and that it took a long time for schools to come to
where they are today.
There is a lot of tough subject matter in
this book and the author handles it well without beating the reader over
the head so much that the book becomes uninteresting. I think it's so
important for young adult fiction to tackle some of these difficult
subjects like racism as well as LGBT rights. I thought that the author
did a great job of leading the reader throughout this book in a way that
makes them both interested in and understanding of the struggles of
these characters without hitting people over the head with the lessons
found within this book. This was a good story even for those like me who
are a little older than the group that this YA book is geared for.