Maggie Rose and Sass by Eunice Boeve
Unfortunately, Maggie’s father died then she went to live with her grandmother, who also died. The only family member left for her to live with was her uncle. He lived far away in a town called Solomon Town. The town was not as Maggie expected when she arrived. She is surprised to find that she is the only white girl there. The town was almost entirely composed of people who were once slaves.
Maggie has never been around this many black people before and she believes a lot of the things her grandmother used to say about anybody who wasn’t white. She doesn’t want to make friends with the local girls, including one named Sass, who got her name purely because she was sassy.
Sass says that Maggie is nothing but an uppity white girl.
Both girls end up realizing that just because someone looks different doesn’t mean they’re any less human.
What I liked
I do tend to like books where children can learn that other people are people too. It doesn’t matter what color, gender, or whatever, they are. Other people are equally as valid as people, despite any differences. I do think this book does a fairly good job of having both children realize good things about the other. The book does acknowledge that one people could be unfair to the other.
What I didn’t like
This book does use the word “colored” a lot. I quit talking to a guy once because he called Barack Obama “colored,” and I’m not even that big of a fan of Barack. Look, sure, he’s not all the way white, but that doesn’t mean calling someone “colored” is ok. We’re all various colors. This book doesn’t have the more derogatory term in the text, which is good. Both terms are derogatory and you probably shouldn’t use them, but I do get that this author was trying to be a little more tactful and historically accurate by using the term she used. People didn’t go around saying “African-American” back when this book was set. They did say things that were worse than the word she did use though. I just don’t like hearing the term she did use.
To quote Dr. Suess–“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Just substitute in something else for “small,” and fix whatever grammar needed to make it make sense.
Do you think you could fit in a neighborhood where you were the only person of your race?
Was there a point when you came to appreciate all people as people or did you always do so?