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It All Comes Down to This

By: Karen English

Los Angeles 1965:When riots erupt in nearby Watts and a friend is unfairly arrested, Sophie learns that life—and her own place in it—is even more complicated than she'd once thought.

ISBN: 9780544839571

JLG Release: Sep 2017


Sensitive Areas: Language: Mild Language, Violence: Mild Violence, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Discrimination: Sexism
Topics: Family life , Los Angeles, California , African Americans , Race relations , Riots , Twentieth-century US history , Social issues , Prejudice and racism , Friendship , Girls and women , Siblings

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Awards & Honors

CCBC Choices 2018 Choice: Fiction for Young Adults
2017 Kirkus Prize Finalist
School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2017, Middle Grade and Chapter Books
Horn Book Fanfare List 2017, Fiction
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017, Middle Grade
VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2017
New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2017
BooklistTop 10 Books of 2018, Historical Fiction for Youth

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Sophie is a 12-year-old African American girl living in 1965 Los Angeles. She is extremely intelligent, gifted, and determined. With two professional parents and a sister on her way to a historically black college, Sophie is living a middle-class life in her mostly white neighborhood and struggling to find acceptance amo
[STARRED REVIEW]
Sophie is a 12-year-old African American girl living in 1965 Los Angeles. She is extremely intelligent, gifted, and determined. With two professional parents and a sister on her way to a historically black college, Sophie is living a middle-class life in her mostly white neighborhood and struggling to find acceptance among her peers. Friendship formation and creative ambitions are thwarted by bigotry, but her inner strength leaves her undaunted. Sophie has a complex relationship with her busy, successful parents. Her sister, Lily, is a strong influence on Sophie. Because of Lily’s relationship with the family’s Jamaican housekeeper’s son, she is exposed to social activism and catches a glimpse of the 1965 Watts Riots. Relatable characters populate this story of one significant summer in a girl’s life. Readers will react strongly to the scorn with which Sophie is treated by neighborhood girls, and hopefully be prompted to take up the cause of social justice when they draw parallels between the events of Sophie’s world and contemporary happenings. A few instances of offensive language and a subplot involving adultery make this a choice for middle schoolers or mature middle graders. VERDICT A satisfying combination of historical and realistic fiction featuring an interesting and diverse cast.—Deidre Winterhalter, Oak Park Public Library, IL

Horn Book

The daughter of an art gallery-owning mother and a lawyer father, twelve-year-old Sophie has advantages most children her age do not. However, the summer of 1965 in Los Angeles brings challenges no amount of money can fix. Sophie must navigate her older sister preparing to leave for college, her parents’ continual arguments, and the family The daughter of an art gallery-owning mother and a lawyer father, twelve-year-old Sophie has advantages most children her age do not. However, the summer of 1965 in Los Angeles brings challenges no amount of money can fix. Sophie must navigate her older sister preparing to leave for college, her parents’ continual arguments, and the family’s overly critical housekeeper. Not to mention that Sophie’s is the only African American family in an otherwise all-white neighborhood. In response to her friends’ query about what it feels like to be “Negro,” Sophie answers, “You remembered what you were all the time. All the time.” From learning about Emmett Till to witnessing an innocent man’s arrest, Sophie is forced to face a reality different from that of those around her. As much as budding author Sophie tries to focus on writing her novel and auditioning for the starring role in the community play, these issues are a constant presence, coming to a crescendo with the Watts riots. How Sophie reacts to these challenges, and what she learns in the process, results in a true coming-of-age story. The perspective of an upper-middle-class African American family is an unusual and welcome one; and Sophie’s interactions with her white best friend make for a particularly honest dialogue. Fans of Rita Williams-Garcia will enjoy this moving, frank novel. eboni njoku

Book Details

ISBN

9780544839571

First Release

September 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

368

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.7; Points: 11;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.2; Points: 19;

Lexile

Level 680L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Clarion

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Mild Language, Violence: Mild Violence, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Discrimination: Sexism

Topics

Family life, Los Angeles, California, African Americans, Race relations, Riots, Twentieth-century US history, Social issues, Prejudice and racism, Friendship, Girls and women, Siblings,

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