Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
Rowan is trying to enjoy her last day of freedom before she starts her summer internship when she is awoken by the yells of the workers renovating her family’s back house. When she goes to investigate she finds a skeleton hidden beneath the floorboards. And her investigation doesn’t stop there. Since the police have little interest in a nearly century-old cold case, Rowan decides it’s up to her to discover who the skeleton was and how he came to his final resting place. Back in 1921, William is just trying to do what he thinks is right when he confronts a black man touching a white girl. He never expected others to get involved, tracking the man down and beating him. His conscious is torn between what he’s always been taught and the truth he sees opening up before him. As racial tensions soar, William has to choose a side and try to survive that choice.
These two stories blend seamlessly to create a story full of mystery and tension. Each character has to confront the harsh realities of racial conflicts. Rowan is half black, William half Osage Indian. This book is highly recommended for readers in high school and up who enjoy historical fiction, mystery, and issues of social justice.
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