Year 9, Book 77

77. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Oh man was this a hard book to read, but so worth it. Lies We Tell Ourselves is set in Virginia in 1959. Sarah Dunbar and her younger sister are a couple of the few students who are chosen to integrate the previously all-white Jefferson High School. Linda Hairston is a firm believer in keeping segregation alive and aims to get her school back. Forced to work together on a school project the two discover that they may have more in common than they thought.

Talley does an excellent job of portraying a very difficult time in our nation’s history that still has lasting effects to this day. I read this book before everything happened in Ferguson, but looking back on it now it’s hard to think that we’ve come very far from the horrible physical and psychological brutality put upon kids who were just trying to gain access to an equal education. The subject matter makes it a very difficult read, but an extremely important one. It’s so hard to think that people can be this awful to other people, but they were and they are. Hopefully this book can help open some eyes to the horrendousness of discrimination whether regarding race or sexuality, both of which are addressed in the book. I give it an 8 out of 10.

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