So now that the tour is over I can post my review for this book. It wasn’t a bad book, but this time it was a 3 stars that went more to the negative side than the positive side and with the tour being all positive vibes… I had to wait. So here we are.
First up, I did love (maybe that sounds wrong) reading about Little Rock. I know some bits about it thanks to books I read. But I wanted to know more. Read more about it. And sure, I could read articles and the likes on my computer, I think it is just a bit more personal to read it from someone who experienced it. Like the 9 teens or Mrs. Bates. So that is a big reason why I wanted to read the book. We follow Carlotta as she makes the decision to go to Little Rock. As she pushes through to get her place there. We read about the racism that is so rampant. I knew how bad the racism is (and was) in the US, but it still shocks me to see what people shouted. How people gathered and formed a deadly crowd. How there were bombings and threats. To see how far people would go just to make sure that someone of colour would not get anywhere near them. WTF. I found the courage of these 9, or well 8 given that one didn’t go in the end, extraordinary. I am not sure if I would have done the same if I was in their shoes. Or if I would have gotten through things on another way. I just wanted to step into the book and just punch several people. I do hope that these people, later on in life, will have seen what they did and I hope that they feel some ounce of remorse, because holy crap.
I loved reading about Mrs. Bates, about what she did for the teens and families around her that were in need. How she always stepped up if an injustice happened. How she made sure the teens had someone to talk to. How she tried her best for them and helped them with their studies when things didn’t go so well.
It was great reading about Carlotta’s family. She has so much support and love and I am sure that helped her with her decision to go for it. I loved how supportive her parents were. Yes, they knew it would be dangerous, but they were there for her.
But yeah, I had expected, given the title, the cover, the way this book was promoted, that it was ALL ABOUT Little Rock. However, for most of the book it isn’t. We get befores with tons of family stuff and how things started. And then we get a bit about Little Rock, it just felt very little, and then we get the after. And the after is all about colleges, working, school, family, then also about some Little Rock as Carlotta was asked to talk to people. And while at points it was interesting (like see how much of the racism was still around and see it slowly change for the better), it was also just boring. I am sorry, I really had to drag my butt through the chapters and each time one finished it felt like it was finished only to find out that there was another chapter. And another one. And another one. It didn’t make up for a good reading experience. I was just bored and found myself wondering about DNF-ing. But given the material and the importance of the book, I decided to just go on. Read on. Maybe if this one had been promoted as a memoir of the life of Carlotta Walls instead of a book about Little Rock? I would have enjoyed it better or maybe be more prepared. Now I was just like, where is all the Little Rock? It was just maybe 100 or so pages purely about Little Rock. The rest was either not about it or mentioned the effects of having gone to their + the rampant racism that is still all around.
Also I would have liked a family tree at the beginning? Carlotta has a big big family and she often calls her grandfathers by Papa, which had me confused. I think if I had a family tree I could just go back to it and see who was who again and get a better feel of her family.
All in all, still a book I am happy I got the chance to read. It is an important book about racism, perseverance, courage.