Welcome to Rye, Virginia. In this suburb outside of Washington, DC, people work hard, kids go to school, and football is big on Friday nights. An eighth-grade English teacher assigns her class a debate project: Should the school mascot stay or change? Six middle schoolers get involved in an issue that already has the town turned upside down with everyone choosing sides and arguments getting ugly.
At the center of this story about human rights and Native sovereignty is a diverse group of kids. Callie Crossland (Cherokee new kid), Franklin Keys (Black football fan), Priya Bhatt (second-generation Indian-American and school reporter), Sean McEntire (working-class white kid), Tessa Ostergaard (white former homeschooler), and Luis Flores (El Salvadoran immigrant kid) go head-to-head with their community and wrestle with difficult questions about the importance of justice and the cost of change.
This novel in verse by two award-winning authors brings a contemporary, ripped-from-the-headlines topic onto the page and asks, “What happens when a mascot is seen as racist, but not by everyone?”
Charles Waters is a children’s poet, actor, educator, and coauthor of African Town; Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z; and the award-winning Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship. He lives near Atlanta.LEARN MORE
Traci Sorell writes fiction and nonfiction for children featuring contemporary characters and compelling biographies. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located.LEARN MORE