4 star reviews, bookreview, contemporary fiction, race relations

The Child Finder/The Hate U Give

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The Child Finder by Rene Denfield

I was nervous about this book because, as a mom, child abductions have long been my worst fear.  I found the hunt for the abductor thrilling, I loved the strong main character and I was very interested in people who still live a very old-fashioned lifestyle of trapping game and trading furs.  The Pacific Northwest is on Jason and my shortlist of places to visit, so I ate up all the descriptions of the setting.

Naomi, a private investigator who had been abducted as a child, is hired to find Madison Culver, a little girl who went missing three years ago when her family was out looking in the woods for a Christmas tree.

The characters are very well developed, the plot is rock solid and the storyline was different and intriguing.  I give this book 4/5 stars.

While I was reading The Child Finder by Rene Denfield, my 15 year old was reading (and loving) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

My daughter LOVED this book.  She found the main character, Starr, very relatable.  She said she wanted to be friends with Starr and help her through everything that was going on in her life.  Starr lives in a poor neighborhood but attends a prep school.  The other kids at the prep school can not relate to the issues Starr faces at home.  Starr’s best friend is fatally shot and killed by a police officer.  His shooting makes national headlines and some say he was a thug, while others say the police officer was wrong for shooting him.  Starr’s family is targeted by both the police and drug lords and Starr is the only one that knows what really happened that night.

My daughter’s review reminds me how different the world she is growing up in from the world I grew up in.  I grew up in an upper-middle class town, there were a few Black kids and I was and still am friends with them.  They may have been going through things – I am pretty sure that they were – but I did not know about it.  I just saw them as friends, we talked and joked and made plans to hang out.  I always thought that we were so much further along with race relations than we actually are.  I really believed, up until a few years ago, that we needed to be color blind and not so shallow as to judge people based on the color of their skin.  I was so proud to be an American in 2007 when Barack Hussein Obama accepted the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States and won the election.  I cried along with the prolific newscaster, who was on his knees weeping because he never thought he would see a black man become President, his own grandfather having been a slave–I think that was the moment that it hit me that I could never really understand this.  I could have sympathy.  I could support equality, but my experience as a white person would protect me from things and feelings and situations that I had no idea existed.  I wish that the world was the way I thought it was 15 years ago, but since it is not, I am glad that I have raised two girls who want to read books like this and want to stand up for people of color.  I am glad that publishers are publishing books like this and I am glad that we can have this conversation.  I hope that at some point soon, this conversation won’t be necessary and we will all be treated equally.

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