Booklist Reviews 2018 September #2
In a time when #ownvoices stories are rising in popularity among YA readers, this brings an insightful story to the conversation. Louise is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation whose family has recently moved to Kansas. She starts working on the school newspaper, and her little brother Hughie gets cast in the school's production of The Wizard of Oz. But a local group, Parents against Revisionist Theater (PART), does not agree with the casting of Hughie and two other students of color in the play, and this leads to some hard experiences and conversations for all involved. While the subject matter of the story is highly relevant, the writing feels disjointed, with short chapters coming across like vignettes as opposed to one cohesive story. This happens within the chapters as well, where scenes often shift abruptly without warning. A romantic subplot accompanies the more politically charged main narrative, as attraction flares between Louise and her newspaper partner—but culture clashes intrude even here. Despite its flaws, this is truly a thought-provoking and educational novel. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2019 Spring
Louise Wolfe--a high-school senior, budding journalist, and member of the Muscogee Nation--works on the school newspaper, where she meets half-Lebanese/half-Scottish Joey Kairouz, an ambitious photojournalist. Lou learns how to write about controversy with the school's "color-conscious" casting of its Wizard of Oz production. Lou and Joey's love story deepens over the course of the novel, and Smith effectively presents the continuous microaggressions Lou faces as a young Native woman. Glos. Copyright 2019 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #6
Louise Wolfe, a high-school senior, budding journalist, and member of the Muscogee Nation, breaks up with her white boyfriend when he makes an offensive joke about Native people. She throws herself into her work on the school newspaper, where she meets Joey Kairouz, an ambitious and assertive photojournalist whose father is Lebanese and mother is Scottish. Lou learns to navigate how to write about issues such as the controversy surrounding the school's "color-conscious" casting of its production of The Wizard of Oz, and her family must navigate the subtle and explicit incidents of racism that arise in the course of the community-wide conversation about the play's cast. Lou's younger brother is cast as the Tin Man, and Lou helps him address some hateful incidents and comments as well as the fact that Oz's creator, L. Frank Baum, famously wrote anti-Native, pro-genocide newspaper editorials. The love story between Lou and Joey feels a bit shallow early on, but deepens over time, and Smith effectively presents the continuous microaggressions Lou faces as a young Native woman alongside the central narrative arc of the school play. christina l. dobbs Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.