In this edition of Writers Read, I plan to convince you to read Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham. It’s summer, so those of you with older kids have time at the pool to read. I, on the other hand, will be making awkward chit chat with random parents also soaking their legs in the 60% pee water that is the baby pool. Don't feel sorry for me. I’ll find other times in my day to read.
I read Dreamland Burning last summer and had to come back to it for a recommendation because it’s awesome. (Click on the picture to buy it on Amazon). When seventeen-year-old Rowen Chase finds a skeleton buried under the “back house” on her parents’ property, she and her friend James attempt to solve a mystery 100 years in the making. The next chapter is Will’s story. William Tillman lives in Tulsa in 1921 when a race riot broke out in the city.
Were you like, “Race riot in Tulsa in 1921?” Me too. I had no idea this actually happened. And hearing the story from the point of view of William is both heartbreaking and thrilling. The chapters of the book alternate between Rowen and Will. Each one leaves you with a bit of a cliffhanger, so I recommend getting a comfy chair and settling in because you won’t want to put the book down. Seriously. Pack snacks and call a sitter because it’s what you’re going to want to do until you finish the book.
Here are some non-spoiler things I love about this book:
The historical material is fascinating
The main characters are both flawed and lovable (sounds kinda like real people doesn’t it?)
The writing is exceptional
It’s labeled as YA, but don’t let that stop you. Young adult books are usually fast-paced and have a great story so young people stick with them. And let’s be real, we don’t have a much better attention span than teens do. In fact, you’re wondering how much longer this blog is because you have stuff to do.
I’ll stop gushing here, but first let me leave you with this quote from the book:
"It was probably quieter a hundred years ago, but that doesn't necessarily mean better. I understand now that history only moves forward in a straight line when we learn from it. Otherwise, it loops past the same mistakes over and over again." -Jennifer Latham, Dreamland Burning
Talk to me after you read this book. Or if you’ve already read it, comment below. I can’t wait to see what you think.