Young Buck Smith's family has farmed on Virginia's Eastern Shore since the eighteenth century. Tunes Smith's ancestors were slaves brought from Africa to work the same farm. Now two centuries have passed, and everyone works side by side on Buck's father's farm. In Buck's and Tunes' thirteen years of growing up together, the word "racism" has never invaded their realm of innocence. Then, on one horrifying spring afternoon, they discover a body off the prow of their little fishing boat, and their lives are changed forever. Tunes, the proud girl whom Buck loves as a sister, is accused of murder. In his desperate efforts to convince his family and their community of Tunes' innocence, Buck learns some poignant lessons about prejudice and injustice. Suzanne Fisher Staples captivated young readers with her Newbery Honor book, Shabanu and its sequel Haveli, both ALA Notable books. Dangerous Skies is an authentic portrait, both beautiful and grim, of contemporary life on the Chesapeake and some difficult issues that have haunted our country since its birth.
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by Suzanne Fisher Staples
by Irene Hunt
by James Lee Burke
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
by Susan Stevens Crummel, Janet Stevens
by Dee Henderson
"Buck Smith's family has farmed on the shore of the Chesapeake for generations. Tunes Smith's family, once slaves, has worked on that farm for as long. Now fast friends, color has never entered their consciousness. Then, one day, they come upon a body floating near their boat, and the kind of racism that Tunes has faced all her life becomes a reality for Buck. Church, friends, even family are not to be trusted in this world that substitutes color for reason and sense. Using the rolling cadences of the mid-South, Stechschulte reads with an openness that perfectly duplicates the innocence of the protagonist, Buck, as he manfully but painfully penetrates this dark world. At the same time, the versatile Stechschulte creates such characters as the broken Kneebone and his angry daughter, Tunes, giving us a harsh but powerful story of growing up in a still racially divided America. P.E.F. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine"
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