A Summer of Kings by Han Nolan

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It's 1963 and fourteen-year-old Esther Young is looking for excitement. Cursed with a lack of talent in a family filled with artistic types, Esther vows to get some attention by initiating a summer romance with a black teen accused of murdering a white man in Alabama.

King-Roy Johnson shows up on Esther's doorstep that summer, an angry young man who feels betrayed by the nonviolent teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. Sent north by his mother to escape a lynch mob, he meets a follower of Malcolm X's who uses radical teachings about black revolution to fuel King-Roy's anger and frustration. But with each other's help, both Esther and King-Roy learn the true nature of integrity and find the power to stand up for what is right and true.

National Book Award-winning author Han Nolan brings readers a bold new voice--by turns funny and poignant, innocent and worldly--in this powerful coming-of-age story set during the turbulent struggle for civil rights.


About Han Nolan

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HAN NOLAN is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, including the National Book Award winner Dancing on the Edge. She lives in New England.
Published April 1, 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 349 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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King Roy’s life in the south hasn’t prepared him for his new digs, but in the process of handling his own anger and conversion to the teachings of Malcolm X, he manages not only to teach innocent Esther about some of the injustices that make up his life, but about her own power to make change hap...

Apr 01 2006 | Read Full Review of A Summer of Kings

Historical Novel Society

In A Summer of Kings, Nolan writes a powerful coming-of-age story set in 1963, during the turbulent period of the civil rights movement.

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Youth Services Book Review

Fourteen-year-old Esther Young is determined to have a memorable summer full of adventure and she plans on accomplishing this by pursuing a relationship with eighteen-year-old King-Roy Johnson, a black teen who has come to live with her family after being accused in the murder of a white man in A...

Nov 08 2007 | Read Full Review of A Summer of Kings

Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

Han Nolan's newest novel, A Summer Of Kings, takes place during the summer of 1963, when Esther Young is fourteen and wants to change her life.

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