Black Angels by Rita Murphy

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A powerful look at race and family at the dawn of the civil rights movement.

Eleven-year-old Celli's summer begins the usual way -- her mother leaves for a month's vacation in Atlanta and Sophie the baby-sitter moves into their house from the other side of town. But this is not a usual summer. Celli has discovered angels that no one else can see -- black angels appearing on the white side of town. And Sophie, part of the family despite the dark color of her skin, has become an outspoken advocate for equal rights. Her daring support of the fledgling civil rights movement embarrasses Celli -- and leaves her an outcast among her friends. As the black community's support for equality swells, Celli feels more embarrassed by Sophie's strident presence in town than supportive of the movement, until her long-lost grandmother from Ohio pays a visit and reveals a secret that will change the way Celli looks at life, color, and family.

About Rita Murphy

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\Rita Murphy's first novel, Night Flying, won the Delacorte Press Prize in 1999.
Published March 13, 2001 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 176 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

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Celli opens her story by describing angels that only she sees, as "Three naked black girls with creamy white wings, throwing stones on my hopscotch board."

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In the summer of 1961, Celli is worried when her black babysitter, Sophie, becomes active in the Civil Rights movement.

Mar 13 2001 | Read Full Review of Black Angels

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