Midnight Without a Moon

Midnight Without a Moon

Rose Lee Carter, a 13-year-old African-American girl, dreams of life beyond the Mississippi cotton fields during the summer of 1955. Her world is rocked when a 14-year-old African-American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. A powerful middle-grade debut perfect for readers who enjoyed The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Brown Girl Dreaming....

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Title:Midnight Without a Moon
Author:Linda Williams Jackson
Rating:
ISBN:054478510X
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:320 pages

Midnight Without a Moon Reviews

  • Jessica Lawson
    Jan 16, 2016

    This is the powerful story of Rose Lee Carter (although you find out a slight twist on her first name near the end) and her journey of finding her strength and purpose in a Jim Crow South on the verge of changes, set against fourteen-year-old Emmett Till's murder and trial (among other tragic, bigoted crimes). Vividly drawn characters and scene-setting will put readers right there with Rose, bursting with anger and sadness about the injustices she witnesses and endures, and struggling to make a

    This is the powerful story of Rose Lee Carter (although you find out a slight twist on her first name near the end) and her journey of finding her strength and purpose in a Jim Crow South on the verge of changes, set against fourteen-year-old Emmett Till's murder and trial (among other tragic, bigoted crimes). Vividly drawn characters and scene-setting will put readers right there with Rose, bursting with anger and sadness about the injustices she witnesses and endures, and struggling to make a decision of whether to seek a destiny outside of Mississippi, or to stay and be part of an important movement.

    This book has it all from the first page~ setting, voice, character, heart, senses. Linda Williams Jackson's debut is just what Sharon G. Flake said in the blurb on the back of the ARC I read: "... an unflinching bird's eye view of 1955 Mississippi. A magnificent piece of writing!"

  • Michele Knott
    Jan 25, 2016

    What fascinates me about historical fiction is what I learn from it. So frequently, I learn something about our history that was not taught to me in school. I find I am constantly learning how naive I am.

    This story brings us to the mid-1950s in rural Mississippi. Freedom Summer is almost a decade away. Jim Crow laws are in effect and being staunchly upheld. Yet, many African Americans were living in what I felt like more were slavery times. Outhouses were still being used. There was a strong fee

    What fascinates me about historical fiction is what I learn from it. So frequently, I learn something about our history that was not taught to me in school. I find I am constantly learning how naive I am.

    This story brings us to the mid-1950s in rural Mississippi. Freedom Summer is almost a decade away. Jim Crow laws are in effect and being staunchly upheld. Yet, many African Americans were living in what I felt like more were slavery times. Outhouses were still being used. There was a strong feeling for many African Americans that it was better to be quiet than to be heard.

    What a great book to use to compare with how things are now. What hasn't changed?

    The strongest part of the book isn't the great dialogue that will occur as a result, but Jackson's dialogue. Her voice was spot-on and rich.

  • Caroline
    Jan 25, 2016

    Whew. What a powerful book.

    Readers will feel what Rose feels during this book - tension, curiosity, struggle, fear, hope. And the history. So much history is wrapped up in this book and necessitates reflection and application to today's chaos, too.

    This book is labeled as middle grade, but for upper middle ages 10+. I definitely recommend those around 10-12 years old reading it with teachers/parents to discuss a lot of the very hard (very real) things in the book. This will definitely be a book

    Whew. What a powerful book.

    Readers will feel what Rose feels during this book - tension, curiosity, struggle, fear, hope. And the history. So much history is wrapped up in this book and necessitates reflection and application to today's chaos, too.

    This book is labeled as middle grade, but for upper middle ages 10+. I definitely recommend those around 10-12 years old reading it with teachers/parents to discuss a lot of the very hard (very real) things in the book. This will definitely be a book to read and discuss and share.

    Disclosure: I was provided with a chance to read an ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Brandy Painter
    Jan 04, 2017

    Originally posted

    .

    It's always exciting when the very first book you read in the New Year is an instant favorite magnificent work you will be pushing at everyone you see for the foreseeable future. Midnight Without a Moon, the debut novel by Linda Williams Jackson, is such a book for me. Prepare to hear about this book for months to come.

    It is summer of 1955 in Mississippi and Rosa Lee Carter lives with her grandparents, brother, and cousin on a wealthy whi

    Originally posted

    .

    It's always exciting when the very first book you read in the New Year is an instant favorite magnificent work you will be pushing at everyone you see for the foreseeable future. Midnight Without a Moon, the debut novel by Linda Williams Jackson, is such a book for me. Prepare to hear about this book for months to come.

    It is summer of 1955 in Mississippi and Rosa Lee Carter lives with her grandparents, brother, and cousin on a wealthy white man's cotton plantation. Her best friend is the preacher's son. Her life's goal is to finish school and find a way out of Mississippi. As the summer heat rises, Rose spends her time working in the cotton fields and quietly trying to learn all she can about the NAACP. But her grandmother insists they are group who are just going to cause trouble for good people. When a neighbor is shot after registering to vote and tensions continue to rise across the state and Rose's small community, she must decide what she believes, how much she is willing to risk to stand up for that, and whether it is better to stand and fight or find a way out.

    Rose's voice and character are absolute perfection. It works well for the time period while also being accessible and relatable for today's readers. Her life revolves around her closest relationships and is not entirely her own. She is a smart girl who desperately wants to finish school and become more, but her grandparents decide whether or not she goes to school. She works hard in the cotton fields and helping her grandmother while her older cousin gets to lounge around a good amount of the time. Relationship and family dynamics are the core of this book. Rose's mother had her and her brother young and out of wedlock. She married someone later and left her children with her parents. This is also the case for Rose's cousin. It makes for fraught family dynamics and the relationships are complicated by what her grandparents believe and the new ideas of beating down Jim Crow that are filtering in from so many of their relatives moving north and returning for visits. I can not even begin to explain in a short review how intricately Jackson pulls all of these together, layers them, and shows their complex importance simply by breathing life into the characters and making them real. I loved and felt so much for Rose, found her relationship with Hallelujah (her best friend) endearing, and adored her grandfather. Her grandmother filled me with rage, while at the same time that I found myself reluctantly understanding and empathizing with her. The complexities of all these people and their relationships make the story rich. It's a true picture of family and community that is not always comfortable, but shows the ties that bind us even when we don't necessarily like a person.

    This story of Rose's self realization and her family's facing new challenges and questions is set against the summer of Mississippi in 1955 and the murder of Emmet Till and the trial of his murderers. This is kept in the distance though, and his is not the first murder discussed in the book. The book opens with the shooting of a man Rose knows because he registers to vote. The historical context of the book is important and the way the story is told even more so. This is a story about a black family living in a black community. It in no way shies away from or sugar coats what life was like in this time or place. In many aspects Rose's family life looks the same way it would have a hundred years before under slavery. Jackson does not attempt to make the reader comfortable with it in any way. The language she uses and the way people talk may make many squirm, but it makes the book that much richer and authentic. I think it is important to note that this book coming out this year, as the Voting Rights Act is being gutted, is a much needed reminder of exactly what things were like, why we need to keep fighting, and for a significant portion of the population the 1950s were Hell on earth and not a time we want to revisit.

    The sentence level writing in the book is excellent as well. Jackson has a true way with words. She can write beautiful poetic imagery and also say much with one simple sentence. Few authors are able to find a balance between the two and wield them well together. Jackson can. The book is also infused with a sly, tongue-in-cheek humor that I love. This comes from Rose herself, who is quite a smart mouth in her own head even if she doesn't let it out much, and from others as well. There are some truly great pithy one liners.

    This is pretty much a perfect book in every way: character, theme, setting, plot. It's being marketed as MG and I think it is a must have for every middle school library and classroom. I believe it will also have crossover YA appeal and that both the 2018 Newbery and Printz committees better be discussing it.

    I read an ARC provided by the publisher, HMH Books for Young Readers, via Edelweiss. Midnight Without a Moon is on sale now, and you should buy it immediately.

  • Ruth Lehrer
    Feb 23, 2016

    I received a free ARC of this 2017 middle grade book. My first thoughts after reading MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON—What prizes can I nominate this book for? When's the movie coming out? I've had the opportunity to read a lot of ARCs this past year but none of them affected me the way this did. I loved the meaning behind the title (no spoilers because it was such a beautiful moment when Jackson first mentions it.)

    Set in 1950s Mississippi, the story of 13-year-old Rose Lee Carter is so vivid it is like

    I received a free ARC of this 2017 middle grade book. My first thoughts after reading MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON—What prizes can I nominate this book for? When's the movie coming out? I've had the opportunity to read a lot of ARCs this past year but none of them affected me the way this did. I loved the meaning behind the title (no spoilers because it was such a beautiful moment when Jackson first mentions it.)

    Set in 1950s Mississippi, the story of 13-year-old Rose Lee Carter is so vivid it is like stepping into a time machine. Rose's introspection set against the backdrop of Jim Crow south, gives us both the "big picture" of racism and the individual experience. The pitch-perfect voice of Rose makes the reader feel the sweat and hard life of a sharecropper family. Jackson crafts a web of emotionally complicated relationships within that family.

    This book is published as a "middle grade" book. This is great because it will make it more available to young people, unfortunately it may mean adults might not read it and they should. The story made me think of many things; of collard greens and yams, of what family really means, of how recent slavery really still is. You can feel history pulsing behind Rose. People alive in Rose's 1950s are still with us today and they had relatives who were either, like some of the characters in this book, born slaves, or born to freed slaves. It's all not as long ago as we would like to think.

    Jackson has an incredible ability to transliterate accents without losing readability. This invokes the importance of language variation, and the role dialect plays in our understanding of subcultures, both our own and of others.

    For years my understanding of history was pinned to books I read as a child; Little Women, All of a Kind Family, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Anne Frank... MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON has the skilled writing and special something that could make it too a classic that sticks in our minds while we go about the business of growing up. I'm so glad this book will be available to everyone in 2017.

  • Genetta
    Mar 05, 2016

    I rarely read a book twice, and hardly ever three times. But every once in a while, a book comes along that makes me re-think everything. A book that brings a new perspective to life, to history, to what I thought I knew about the past.

    MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON has done that for me. As a critique partner for Linda Jackson, I’d read this manuscript twice before it went to print. And tonight I finished reading it for a third time as an ARC. I have cherished it Every. Single. Time.

    This novel is:

    gr

    I rarely read a book twice, and hardly ever three times. But every once in a while, a book comes along that makes me re-think everything. A book that brings a new perspective to life, to history, to what I thought I knew about the past.

    MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON has done that for me. As a critique partner for Linda Jackson, I’d read this manuscript twice before it went to print. And tonight I finished reading it for a third time as an ARC. I have cherished it Every. Single. Time.

    This novel is:

    gripping, witty, horrifying, funny, poignant, beautiful, and brilliant.

    Set in 1955 in the Mississippi Delta, 13-year-old Rose Lee Carter faces injustice, cruelty, racism, and hardship in the Jim Crow South—framed through the lens of friendship, loyalty, family bonds, and religion. Rose Lee’s determination enables her to not only endure but to transcend and find her purpose.

    MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON paints a dynamic picture of a lifestyle I know in my head but have never experienced. Yet, I was able to live it through Rose Lee Carter. And I’m a better person for it. I highly recommend this book for older middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults.

  • Ashley Blake
    Mar 18, 2016

    This story is a lovely, sometimes brutal portrait of 1955 Mississippi and a black girl trying to figure out how to survive, how to fight, how to love who she is. It blends a fictional family struggling in the south with the factual accounts of the south during this time, specifically the Emmett Till trial. It's raw and real, the language visceral and piercing. Beautiful and eye-opening.

  • Dylan Teut
    Apr 30, 2016

    Holy smokes! This was one heck of a read... characters you could laugh with, cry with, and get downright furious with. And the ending... so full of hope and promise. Outstanding!

  • Lois Sepahban
    Jun 29, 2016

    I was lucky to read an ARC of MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON.

    After reading the synopsis, I knew this was a book for me--middle grade historical fiction is my favorite. This book delivered from the first page. Beautiful writing, a story that is important, characters who are relatable, in particular thirteen-year-old Rosa.

    Huge recommendation. I can't wait to put this book into many hands.

  • T (novelparadise)
    Feb 06, 2017

    This is a very powerful and evocative middle grade set in Mississippi 1955. It follows Rose Lee Carter, a 13 year old girl trying to navigate the south as an African American. When a 14 year old African American boy, Emmett Till, is murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman, thing begin to change for Rose in Mississippi.

    I've been highly anticipating reading this book ever since Angie Thomas (author of THE HATE U GIVE) recommended it in a twitter chat I hosted with her

    This is a very powerful and evocative middle grade set in Mississippi 1955. It follows Rose Lee Carter, a 13 year old girl trying to navigate the south as an African American. When a 14 year old African American boy, Emmett Till, is murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman, thing begin to change for Rose in Mississippi.

    I've been highly anticipating reading this book ever since Angie Thomas (author of THE HATE U GIVE) recommended it in a twitter chat I hosted with her in December. I'd been purposely putting off reading this until February for Black History Month and I think it was the perfect book to start off the month.

    Whilst the writing of this book is very easy to get into and it keeps you hooked, this book was definitely not an easy read. It explores some very heavy topics, including racism- both institutionalized and internalized- as well as abuse and dysfunctional families. Considering this is about the murder of a 14 year old African American boy in 1955, racism is very prevalent throughout the novel. MWAM explores the different attitudes towards black people in the north and south of the Unites States and shows that racism can also be internalized. MWAM acknowledges the institutionalized racism, especially regarding the criminal justice system in Mississippi. Whilst black people had the right to register to vote in 1955, they were often murdered for exercising that right and nothing was done about it by law enforcement. Furthermore it is also acknowledged and discussed that Emmett Till's murderer's were acquitted because of institutionalized racism as well.

    Further, MWAM explores abuse through Rose's aunt & uncle's relationship, but also her own relationship with her grandmother, and her grandmother's relationship with her other children and grandchildren. I would read with caution if you are at all triggered by racism or abuse.

    I only had a couple of problems with MWAM. The first was the lack of a consistent plot. Some of the time, the plot didn't run very smoothly. It felt a little choppy and it also felt like not much happened until about halfway through the book. I have high hopes that the next book will be better on that front though! The second thing was that there was a discussion between Hallelujah and Rose about how somebody wanted Hallelujah to sing "this land is your land, this land is my land" and then this idea of the land belonging to black people as much as it belongs to white people was reinforced a couple times afterwards. However, it was never once acknowledged that the land they were talking about was taken from Native Americans. When talking about ownership of land, especially in terms of racism, I think it's very important to note that the land originally and still does belong to the lands Indigenous people.

    Overall, I very very highly recommend you check out this book. Such a powerful and important middle grade story which explores racism in its many forms, abuse and revolution. Perfect for if you're looking for something to add to your Black History Month TBR, or just any month of the year.