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Finding Langston



by
Lesa Cline-Ransome

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Holiday House
Imprint
Holiday House
ISBN
9780823439607

Awards and Honors
2019 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction Winner
2019 Coretta Scott King Award Honor, Author
ALSC Notable Children's Books - 2019
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens - 2019
CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: Fiction for Children
ILA Teachers' Choices - 2019
MRLS Cream of the Crop - 2019
Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth - 2018
CSMCL Best Books - 2018
Kirkus Best Books, Middle-Grade - 2018
NYPL Best Books for Kids - 2018
School Library Journal Best Books - 2018
Horn Book Fanfare - 2018
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Violence: Mild Violence
$19.56   $16.30
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QTY
Out of stock

After eleven-year-old Langston moves with his father from Alabama to Chicago in 1946, he finds comfort in the local library and the poetry of Langston Hughes.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Violence: Mild Violence

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

112

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

AR

4.5: points 3

Lexile

760L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

7

JLG Release

Oct 2018

Book Genres


Topics

Books. Reading. Poetry. Moving households. Bullying. African Americans. Single-parent families. Chicago, Illinois. Libraries. Langston Hughes (1901–1967).

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews*

School Library Journal

It’s 1946 and 11-year-old Langston, named after Langston Hughes, has just moved from Alabama to Chicago with his father following the death of his mother. Langston feels isolated and is bullied at school, and every day he misses Alabama: the dirt roads, his Grandma and her cooking, and the sound of Mama’s voice. When Langston accidentally stumbles into the public library to ask for directions, he realizes that, unlike in Alabama, black people are allowed in the library, and portraits of esteemed black literary figures hang on the walls. Langston secretly visits the library daily and is pulled into the poetry of Langston Hughes, discovering his namesake. As the bullying at school intensifies and tragedy strikes his family, Langston finds solace with his neighbor, Miss Fulton, who reads Hughes’s poetry out loud to him in the evenings. Cline-Ransome presents a stunning story of a boy during the Great Migration who finds his longing for the South and his father’s fondness for the blues reflected in Hughes’s poetry. Langston’s observations about the world are astute, whether it’s his realization of the burdens his father carries or how men on the street look at women. Readers who have struggled with grief, identity, racism, bullying, or loneliness will find their experiences reflected in this beautifully written novel, which has a satisfying, but not-too-tidy ending. VERDICT Cline-Ransome’s novel is an engaging, quick, and relatable read that skillfully incorporates themes of race, class, post-war American life in the North and South, and a bit of Langston Hughes’ poetry. This is a story that will stay with readers long after they’ve finished it. A first purchase for all libraries.–Liz Anderson, DC Public Library

Horn Book

When Langston’s mother dies, his father relocates the two of them from rural Alabama to the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, where they live in a cramped apartment, hardly communicate with each other, and stifle their grief. It’s the 1940s; his father works long hours at a paper plant, and school is a dreadful place where Langston is bullied for being a “country boy.” Then Langston discovers the George Cleveland Hall Branch of the Chicago Public Library, where he finds the poetry of Langston Hughes. Struck by the shared name, Langston checks out the books and hides them from kids at school and his father, reading them in brief snatches when nobody is around. Is there a connection between himself and Langston Hughes? Reading poetry becomes Langston’s way to connect with his mother’s memory, find solace from grief, and make a friend. Written in short chapters, this crisply paced book is full of historical details of the Great Migration and the role a historic branch library played in preserving African American literary culture. “The library and Langston Hughes ’bout the only thing that kept me going without my mama,” Langston says, a sentiment that may resonate with any child who has experienced grief or loneliness, or has had a strong connection to literature. julie hakim azzam

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

It’s 1946 and 11-year-old Langston, named after Langston Hughes, has just moved from Alabama to Chicago with his father following the death of his mother. Langston feels isolated and is bullied at school, and every day he misses Alabama: the dirt roads, his Grandma and her cooking, and the sound of Mama’s voice. When Langston accidentally stumbles into the public library to ask for directions, he realizes that, unlike in Alabama, black people are allowed in the library, and portraits of esteemed black literary figures hang on the walls. Langston secretly visits the library daily and is pulled into the poetry of Langston Hughes, discovering his namesake. As the bullying at school intensifies and tragedy strikes his family, Langston finds solace with his neighbor, Miss Fulton, who reads Hughes’s poetry out loud to him in the evenings. Cline-Ransome presents a stunning story of a boy during the Great Migration who finds his longing for the South and his father’s fondness for the blues reflected in Hughes’s poetry. Langston’s observations about the world are astute, whether it’s his realization of the burdens his father carries or how men on the street look at women. Readers who have struggled with grief, identity, racism, bullying, or loneliness will find their experiences reflected in this beautifully written novel, which has a satisfying, but not-too-tidy ending. VERDICT Cline-Ransome’s novel is an engaging, quick, and relatable read that skillfully incorporates themes of race, class, post-war American life in the North and South, and a bit of Langston Hughes’ poetry. This is a story that will stay with readers long after they’ve finished it. A first purchase for all libraries.–Liz Anderson, DC Public Library

Horn Book

When Langston’s mother dies, his father relocates the two of them from rural Alabama to the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, where they live in a cramped apartment, hardly communicate with each other, and stifle their grief. It’s the 1940s; his father works long hours at a paper plant, and school is a dreadful place where Langston is bullied for being a “country boy.” Then Langston discovers the George Cleveland Hall Branch of the Chicago Public Library, where he finds the poetry of Langston Hughes. Struck by the shared name, Langston checks out the books and hides them from kids at school and his father, reading them in brief snatches when nobody is around. Is there a connection between himself and Langston Hughes? Reading poetry becomes Langston’s way to connect with his mother’s memory, find solace from grief, and make a friend. Written in short chapters, this crisply paced book is full of historical details of the Great Migration and the role a historic branch library played in preserving African American literary culture. “The library and Langston Hughes ’bout the only thing that kept me going without my mama,” Langston says, a sentiment that may resonate with any child who has experienced grief or loneliness, or has had a strong connection to literature. julie hakim azzam

Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Stories with strong, relatable characters that portray believable contemporary or historical real-life experiences.

14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
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