An eloquent, dramatic story of an adolescent girl's first glimpse into the problems of prejudice and the redeeming power of friendshipsFOR THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD KATE, being poor in a small rural Florida t
An eloquent, dramatic story of an adolescent girl's first glimpse into the problems of prejudice and the redeeming power of friendships
FOR THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD KATE, being poor in a small rural Florida town means feeling ashamed and isolated. At school, her classmates laugh at her old clothes and worn shoes. Things are not much better at home. Kate's mother is working long hours at a dairy farm to keep food on the table. Kate has to keep an eye on her brothers - Justin is old enough to talk about running away, and Chip is young enough to keep wandering off.
But one day, the family's goat gets loose and wanders down the road. That's when Kate meets the Wilsons, a tight knit, middle-class African-American family. Kate is particularly drawn to Ruby, the glamorous grown daughter who has returned home from New York City. As Kate begins to spend time with Ruby in town she becomes aware of the undercurrent of discrimination and prejudice that runs through her community, and the complex roles of race and class in her own relationships.
Rosa Jordan offers readers a gripping, empathetic tale of how two families come together despite small town prejudices and cultural differences. In doing so, she provides a window into the larger problems in America, where class and race often divide people.
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"Jordan complements Kate's genuineness with an interesting locale, filled with threatening alligators and wily farm animals, intergenerational friendship, and a meaningful lesson in tolerance. A treat for middle readers."
— Kirkus Reviews
"A tender, satisfying offering."
— School Library Journal
"Jordan packs a lot of moral complications and wisdom into a well-crafted and often suspenseful story... Her characterizations are multilayered and believable."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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A 2006-2007 Chocolate Lily Book Award Nominee in the Novel/Chapter Book category
Red Maple Award shortlist, 2005
Silver Birch Award shortlist, 2005
Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2007
Made into a movie titled The Sweetest Gift, broadcast on Showtime in 1998.
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holds degrees from Santa Monica Junior College, UCLA, and the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. She is the author of Cycling Cuba and Dangerous Places: Travels on the Edge. A movie based on the story of Lost Goat Lane, entitled The Sweetest Gift, was made in 1998 and broadcast on Showtime. Jordan is the director of the social justice program for Earthways Foundation. She lives in British Columbia, Canada.