Cover image for The long ride
Title:
The long ride
ISBN:
9780553534221

9780553534238
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
200 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they have each other. Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to "mix up the black and white kids." Their parents don't want them to be experiments. Francesca's send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her. While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy--but it's a relationship that can exist only at school.
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Summary

Summary

Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they have each other.

Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to "mix up the black and white kids." Their parents don't want them to be experiments. Francesca's send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her.

While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy--but it's a relationship that can exist only at school.


Author Notes

Marina Budhos is the author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Her novels for young adults are Watched, Tell Us We're Home, and Ask Me No Questions . Her nonfiction books include Eyes of the World- Robert Capa & Gerda Taro & The Invention of Modern Photojournalism; Remix- Conversations with Immigrant Teenagers; and Sugar Changed the World, which she cowrote with her husband, Marc Aronson. Budhos has received an EMMA (Exceptional Merit Media Award), a Rona Jaffe Award for Women Writers, and two fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. She has been a Fulbright Scholar to India and is a professor of English at William Paterson University. Visit her online at marinabudhos.com.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this autobiographical novel, Budhos (Watched) takes a close look at how 1971 integration efforts in Queens affect seventh graders from a predominantly white neighborhood when they are bussed nearly an hour away to a junior high in an underserved community. Jamila, who lives with her white mother and Barbadian father, is used to being regarded as black, as are her mixed-race friends Josie and Francesca. But in the halls of JHS 241, where Jamila feels she can finally blend into the mix of skin tones, she is surprised to be called a "white girl" and criticized for her blossoming relationship with John, a black boy. Bolstered by a warm family life, Jamila copes with the emotional turbulence of being 12 and trying to fit in, along with the larger struggles of a new environment and the swelling undercurrent of anger that occurs both at school and in her own community. Budhos creates a cast of sympathetic and credible characters--both adults trying to do the right thing and children caught in the middle of a social "experiment"--in this compassionate and thoughtful depiction of families grappling daily with the inequities of a changing society. Ages 10--up. (Sept.)


Horn Book Review

Its 1971, and the grand new experiment of school integration and busing means that twelve-year-old narrator Jamila, along with her best friends Josie and Francesca, will be starting junior high across town. Having been made to feel like outsiders in their predominantly white Queens, New York, school and neighborhood, the mixed-race tweens are excited to finally fit in. But circumstances divide them, and the reality of their day-to-day experiences is not what they had expected. Jamilas narration provides the voice and perspective of an authentic-sounding soon-to-be teenager who must navigate transitions, friendships, school crushes, cliques, and family expectations. Through short sentences and straightforward text, Budhos explores nuanced conflicts; although the main characters experience microaggressions and racism, for example, theres also a need for them to acknowledge their light-skinned and class privileges at their new school. An appended authors note provides more details: When we think of integration, we usually think of the iconic images of the National Guard accompanying nine students to school in Little Rock, Arkansas, or of black children being bused into white neighborhoods. Yet the story is much more complexand it is ongoing. This novel serves as a gateway for readers to learn about the issues of desegregation busing plans in the U.S. and the influence of various adults, and government decisions, in multiracial childhoods. sujei lugo September/October 2019 p.81(c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

A quiet but stirring historical novel about the awkward, thrilling, and often painful moments that make middle school a pivotal time.It's 1971, and best friends Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are excited to start seventh grade. But when their school district decides to bus the students in their northern Queens neighborhood to a middle school in predominantly black southern Queens in an attempt to desegregate New York City schools, their trio threatens to fall apart. Though their multicultural identities in a predominantly white neighborhood have united them in the pastJamila is white and Bajan, Josie is Latinx and Jamaican, Francesca is black and whitetheir families' and community's divisions over the new policy chip away at their camaraderie. Along with all of the usual adolescent milestones, including first love, juggling old friendships and new, and moments of burgeoning independence from parents, Budhos deftly explores the tensions that pulled at the seams of the fraught and divided city during this time. Jamila's narration is thoughtful, capturing the growing pains of seventh grade and the injustices, big and small, that young adolescents face. She portrays with nuance the ways multiracial identities, socio-economic status, microaggressions, and interracial relationships can impact and shape identity.Readers will find a powerful window into the past and, unfortunately, a way-too-accurate mirror of the present. (Historical fiction. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Twelve is the best and twelve is the worst, begins Jamila's narration, a nod to Dickens, revived for her 1970's world. For Jamila and her best friends, Josie and Francesca, all mixed-race tweens living in the same middle-class Queens, New York, neighborhood, middle-school growing pains are complicated by a busing policy implemented in their community. Budhos gracefully balances the surrounding complex issues of race, class, and equity, without losing focus on the small moments (nascent crushes, perfect outfits) that dominate the lives of her young protagonists. Queens itself plays a quiet but significant part known as a bastion of diversity, it's still not immune to segregation. Save for descriptions of Peter Pan collars and landlines, many of the sentiments and scenarios feel almost entirely contemporary, and they'll resonate with a wide audience while adding context to still-contentious debates about the legacy of integration policies. For fans of the tone and drama of Rebecca Stead's Goodbye Stranger (2015) and the historical lens of Meg Medina's Burn Baby Burn (2016) or Steven B. Frank's Armstrong & Charlie (2017).--Jessica Agudelo Copyright 2010 Booklist


Excerpts

Excerpts

Twelve is the best and twelve is the worst.   It's the breathless swoop at the top of the Ferris wheel, dangling and wishing you could stay. It's the moment when the wheel's about to drop, and you're scared, but it's thrilling too.   Because twelve is when you clutch for everything to stay the same. But it's also when you're tipped forward, ready for something new.   In the spring of sixth grade, our last year in elementary school, Francesca and Josie and me like to lean against the schoolyard fence and stare at the kids in front of the junior high across the street. Girls with long straight hair that swings at their butts. That's going to be us! But how will I ever get from here to there? I still play with Josie's dollhouse. I'm afraid of the dark. I sort of giggle about boys, but really I wish they'd leave us alone. When I think about thirteen and having a chest that shows beneath my shirt, my stomach hurts. I wish I could stay right here, fingers on the diamonds of twisted metal, looking out.   Almost-­twelve is when I learn about our new school. When everything changes in Queens, and in New York City.   One day I come home with a mimeographed flyer.   "What's this?" My mother starts reading. Her light brown hair is drawn back into a ponytail. Daddy always says that Mom still looks like the twenty-­year-­old he met studying at a coffee shop near Columbia University.   "It's called a pairing."   "What's that mean?"   "The seventh graders will go to another school, a new one, in South Jamaica."   "Why on earth? Our junior high is just a few blocks away!"   "Integration."   Mom looks at Daddy standing in the door. He nods.  Integration.   Integration.  That's a good thing. One of those banner words that snaps brightly over our heads. Last year we did a dance about Martin Luther King Jr. in the gymnasium, all the girls in maroon Danskins. We listened to the "I Have a Dream" speech crackling on speakers.  My four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin . . .     Integration is what our family does in quiet and private ways. Mom grew up on Long Island, the daughter of a policeman; she met Daddy when she was studying social work, and he was an engineering student living in Harlem. When her brother, Joe, heard she was dating a man from Barbados, he showed up at her apartment, tapping a crowbar against his palm. Daddy gently invited him to eat  keema  that he'd cooked for Mom. Uncle Joe laughs now, says that he had to like a guy who cooked for his sister. Still, no one in the family came when they got married at city hall.   Two nights after getting the flyer, Daddy and Mom go to the school meeting, Mom with her cardigan draped over her shoulders and a pleated skirt. Daddy in his usual suit and tie. My parents always get dressed up. One of Mom's many rules for me and my brother, Karim: "You have to give a certain kind of impression because they're not used to families like us." Meaning a tall black man with a hint of East Indian in his face, and his pale, thin wife.   I'm finishing my homework when they come back, arguing softly in the living room about the new plan.   "It's not that bad," my mother says.   "Penny, I didn't work so hard and get myself out of a village school for my daughter to go to school in a poor neighborhood. That's going backward."    "It's all new teachers," Mom says. "A new building."   "But why now?"   "Our schools are as segregated as ever."   He sighs. "I know. But have you ever driven by those streets? The boarded-­up windows?" He shakes his head. "My child is not an experiment."   "If those words came out of our neighbors, you'd be upset."   "There's a difference."   "Is there?"   He doesn't answer.   *     Me and Josie and Francesca, our families, we're a link of firsts. No one ever says that exactly. Francesca's mom, Mrs. George, who has strawberry-­blond hair and high cheekbones, and was once a model, often boasts how her husband was the first "someone of his background, growing up on the wrong side of Philadelphia, to sell fine antiques." He even opened his own shop on the Upper East Side in Manhattan with "the very best quality." And Daddy was the first one in his family to move off his island to become a geologist and engineer.   Josie's dad, Mr. Rivera, who wears the same cotton shirts with the big embroidered pockets that my dad likes, has the best "first" story. Mr. Rivera is light-­skinned--­"café con leche, with lots of the leche," he teases--­while Mrs. Rivera, who grew up on the island of Jamaica, is ebony dark. When the Riveras first came to the rental office here in Cedar Gardens, they were told there were no apartments, and to check back. Every other Monday at nine a.m. Mr. Rivera would call. After a whole year of calling he just showed up at the office. That very day, an old couple who was retiring to Florida had come to hand in their keys. "Why, thank you," Mr. Rivera said, holding his palm open. The Riveras were the first nonwhite family to live in Cedar Gardens.   We moved in a few years later. Francesca's family came next and bought the Tudor across the street from our garden apartments. Mr. George said he always dreamed of owning a house like that, and Mrs. George said it reminded her of England. Francesca told me that six months after they moved in, two For Sale signs went up on the block. The first time my mother and father showed up for a block party with a casserole, Daddy said, "You shoulda seen their mouths drop open!" He wasn't laughing the time we had the N-word scrawled on our milk box, the bottles broken. Or the time a group of boys chased my brother, Karim, home with stones. He still has a tiny pale scar over his right eye.   Our mothers met in the playground, pushing us on swings, watching our older brothers. "If I have a son," Mrs. George said to Mrs. Rivera, "I hope he looks like yours."   Our parents always tell us: Don't wander too far. Stay close, where we can find you. They never say why exactly. But we know. The hot stares from stoops. The neighbor who called the police on Mr. George when they saw him unlocking his own door. Josie's brother, Manuel, getting chased home from school with boys calling, "Run fast, chocolate bunny!" The worst was when another family like us moved in and someone slipped a lit rag in their basement window. Our dads went over to talk; my mom and Mrs. Rivera made casseroles for the neighbors. But that family didn't stay long.   Once, I was with my mother buying groceries, when the cashier said, "She's your daughter? I thought maybe she was your maid's girl!"   "Are you blind?" I blurted. "We have the same face!"   I know I shouldn't shoot my mouth off. But it stung. After, my mother told me, "Jamila, don't ever let something like that get to you. She's a girl who will never go to college."   That's my parents' answer for everything: grades and school. That will shield you from the hurts from people who aren't ready for us.     Excerpted from The Long Ride by Marina Tamar Budhos All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.