Rating: High Five!
Book Talk: It’s dark out in Alabama. So dark, in fact, that you can hardly see the passing of the sleek, silver Greyhound buses as they amble down the path to the bus station. So dark that the crowds, some apprehensive, some hopeful, some angry and fuming and fist-clenched-full, are almost hidden from sight, eyes gleaming out from the lit-up bus station.
So dark that our heroine is as-of-yet concealed, watching from her hilltop house with bated breath.
For she yearns for a life of adventure, of travel. She yearns to ride within the Greyhound bus to who-knows-where, sticking her head out the window and feeling the air whip back her hair.
This is Billie Sims - yes, a girl. But not a girly-girl type of girl, she assures you. And with her camera-wielding friend, Grant, at her side, she rides down steep hills on her bike, trying to match their speed with the Greyhounds.
The ever-present Greyhounds, that is.
But what Billie doesn’t realize - could never even anticipate - is that THIS Greyhound bus, the one glinting in the dark, the one drawing in crowds both hopeful and angry, the one that she now watches, waiting, not quite sure what she is about to witness…. this Greyhound bus will change her life, either for better, or for worse.
So off goes Billie, on the greatest adventure of her lifetime, caught in the middle of a struggle between white and black, hate and light. A struggle even Martin Luther King JR and Miss Harper Lee have gotten involved in. A struggle even the President is swept along with.
(below is an impactful quote from the book)
“You know what prejudice is?” she asked.
“Prejudice? Is it liking one thing over another?”
“NOt just things - people. Rich over poor. White over black. Happens all the time. Some of the nicest people do it.”
I had to think about that one. “Then those people aren’t nice, are they?”
Lavender looked at me, then back at the road. “My friend Corea, she has a theory about prejudice. She says it’s a disease like mumps or whooping cough. You catch it from your parents and friends. Most people never recover.”
“Do I have it?” I asked.
A shadow flickered over her face. “Yes, sweetheart, I’m afraid you do. The question is, will you pass it on?”