A few weeks ago I randomly drew off the library shelves a Coretta Scott King Honor book called The Red Rose Box, by Brenda Woods. It took me a few chapters to get into it, it begins off quite slow, but once I did, the story developed as beautifully and stunningly as a red rose.
It is a middle grade novel about a young girl who is growing up in Louisiana during the days of severe segregation and racism. The girl, Leah, and her younger sister Ruth, are somewhat aware of the issues of their state, but only as much as kids could be. The story develops as Leah and Ruth go off to Los Angeles to visit their Aunt and Uncle, and life takes them on a series of turns that are quite unexpected- and heartfeltly described.
The Red Rose Box is a thoughtful book. One that should be shared with kids and mulled over with care. It brings up issues of politics and race, but even more so, family and humanity. It is written with a calm style that builds upon itself the further in you read.
I enjoyed this book. It's been a while since I read something so heartfelt and meaningful, while not being flashy or awkward or forced. I highly recommend you pick up a copy for yourself.