Sunday, June 03, 2012

43. Elizabeth and Hazel by David Margolick

This is not the kind of book I tend to read, but both my sisters recommended it along with my brother who left me his copy.  So I decided to read it to not be left out of any family discussions and am glad that I did.  The book covers one of the Little Rock Nine and the girl yelling at her in the picture that became a famous icon of that era.  Both girls are fifteen, one are wanting to get a better education so willing to brave the crowds of segregationists who oppose her attendance at an all-white school; and the other wanting to gain attention and be part of the in-crowd.  Mostly the book focuses on Elizabeth Eckford and her struggles attending school and the post-tramatic-stress syndrome she suffers for the rest of her life.  Hazel Bryan transferred out of the school shortly after the picture is taken and comes to grips with her shameful part in the episode later in life.  Their interactions are well-documented and the whole story is presented in a very interesting way.  The book educates without being boring.  I would have liked a different ending, but you can't get that with a book covering history.  It is a sad commentary on how cruel people can be and stresses the need for all of us to take an active part in making sure all Americans have the same advantages regardless of their race.  Rating:  4.5

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't believe how brave that poor little girl was to keep going back day after day. I sometimes wonder what kind of person I would have been if I'd grown up in that time and place or in Nazi Germany or Russia or a number of other times or places. Would my humanity have shown forth or would I have been one of the haters? I sure don't think I would have been as strong as Elizabeth and the other Little Rock Nine.