by Nikki Shannon Smith
Stone Arch Books
In the early 1920s, the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the wealthiest Black community in the United States. But Tulsa is still a segregated city. "Black Wall Street" and white Tulsa are very much divided. Twelve-year-old Lena knows this, but she feels safe and sheltered from the racism in her successful, flourishing neighborhood. That all changes when Dick Rowland, a young Black man from Greenwood, is accused of assaulting a white woman. Racial tensions boil over. Mobs of white citizens attack Greenwood, terrorizing Black residents and businesses, and forcing many--including Lena and her family--to flee. Now Lena must help her family survive one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. Readers can learn the real story of the Tulsa Race Massacre from the nonfiction backmatter, including a glossary, discussion questions, writing prompts, and author's note, in this Girls Survive story.
Target age: 8 to 12
About the Author:
Nikki Shannon Smith is from Oakland, California, but she now lives in the Central Valley with her husband and two children. She has worked in Elementary Education for over twenty-five years, and writes everything from picture books to young adult novels. When she's not busy with family, work, or writing, she loves to visit the coast. The first thing she packs in her suitcase is always a book.