“N’Jameh Camara narrates this historical fiction novel for young readers focused on the busing integration attempts made in New York City in the 1970s. Jamila Clarke, Josie Rivera, and Francesca George are three mixed-race girls who come from families of firsts, the only such families in their upper class Queen’s neighborhood. For the first time, the girls won’t be the only kids of color in their school, but they quickly learn this won’t keep them from feeling like outsiders. There is a vibrant tapestry of cultures in this novel, and Camara deftly jumps between accents in a way that makes each character feel authentically true to their backgrounds.”Stephanie, Print: A Bookstore
In the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica.
Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they have each other.
Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to "mix up the black and white kids." Their parents don't want them to be experiments. Francesca's send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her.
While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy--but it's a relationship that can exist only at school.