Sunday, February 18, 2018

We Are #Diverse: YA Fiction and Non-Fiction pair, Then and Now

NOTE:  I have been told by several people that Loving Vs. Virginia is a work of fiction.  I have adjusted the blog post as necessary to reflect that.

When you get your hands on a great non-fiction book and fiction book pair, it can make an impact far beyond than just being a satisfying read.  This is true of the next two books.

Both happened during my lifetime.  One I had heard about, but only in passing; the other I never heard about even though it took place within the last five years.

Both books made an impact on their social culture.  One became a law; the other created awareness.  One challenged society behind a curtain; the other challenged society with the shutters open wide.

Both books allow the reader to see what happens when the status quo is challenged.  One book showed the horrors of segregation and violence found in our history books that our grandparents or even our parents knew/experienced first hand.  The other shows that this is still happening today and something teenagers could experience first hand during their lifetimes.

Both books also show strength in individuals.  One woman refused to live apart from her husband and was sparked to make a difference, never knowing what path that would lead her down and the strength she would need through herself and others to impact our nation.  One young man showed strength through hours of physical and emotional pain to find the power to forgive and understand the power they created through social media and broadcasts.

Both are books that should be read or listened to.  Written in narrative non fiction format and novel in verse fiction format, they are compelling, each in their own way, but both books are alike in that they show how endurance through a time a change and acceptance can be powerful.

I read The 57 Bus, which is the story of Sasha.  They identify as agender and was more comfortable wearing a skirt that pants or shorts.  They also knew the difficulty of being different, but with the school Sasha attended in Oakland California, they were accepted.  But one day on the bus going home, someone saw the uniqueness that was who this quiet person who loved Russian literature and history was and decided to mess with them.  A lighter came out, and skirt was set on fire, and Sasha was severely burned on over 20% of his body.  But this book is also about teens and the way they think.  It's about different cultures and opportunities, it's about the love of families and the pain of making bad choices.  I especially like the fact that the author wasn't biased in her writing on guilt or innocence but stayed factual through eyewitness accounts, courtroom testimonies and interviews. (non-fiction)



I listened to Loving vs Virginia.  I had heard about this case but really didn't think anything about it.  Sometimes that happens to important Supreme Court Cases...we don't really think about them because they happened so long ago.  But this audiobook hit to the heart.  Listening to how Mildred and Richard's romance blossomed and turned into something deeper through their individual voices and viewpoints created a depth of understanding that this is something we still deal with today in our culture.  The couple's voices take you through their secretive marriage to the struggles they faced trying to live as husband and wife in the state of Virginia; having their home and lives invaded through police bullying and threats; and the tipping point and amazing people who supported their decision and never gave up.  It took years for interracial marriages to become law, but their were the pioneers.  HIGHLY recommended as an audiobook but keep a hardcopy on the shelves as well. (fiction)



1 comment:

Martha Brown said...

I think it's important to note that Loving Vs. Virginia isn't non-fiction. It's a fictionalized account of their life. While I really enjoyed listening to the audio version initially, once I realized that MAJOR points of their lives were changed in the novel, I just couldn't listen anymore. :(