Jericho Walls by Kristi Collier

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A beautifully written story about the power of friendship in the face of racism.

"I woke early that first Sunday in Jericho. The sun was barely a stain in the sky, but the air was hot and clammy. My nightgown stuck to my skin. I padded to the bathroom and splashed my face with cold water. My stomach clenched in a queasy ball . . . I'd keep myself out of trouble in Jericho, I promised myself. I'd do all the right things and make lots of good friends and no one would care a whit about my being a preacher's daughter."

Jo Clawson isn't the boy her father wanted, and she's not the "young lady" her neighbors expect of the preacher's daughter, either. But even though Jo doesn't always meet the expectations of the people around her, she still longs to fit in. When she and her family leave their northern home for the small southern town of Jericho, Alabama, Jo might finally stop picking fights and settle in right.

But when Jo befriends a young black boy, she discovers that "fitting in" is about a lot more than proper manners or a smart outfit. Suddenly she's faced with a new set of questions that call up her own values. Maybe some fights are worth picking, after all.

Set in 1957, this unforgettable novel tells the inspiring story of a young girl growing up amid racism.


About Kristi Collier

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Kristi Collier has had short stories published in several literary journals. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and young daughter. Jericho Walls is her first novel.
Published March 6, 2007 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 232 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jericho Walls

Kirkus Reviews

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In addition to the normal problems faced by any girl of her age, like trying to fit in and make friends in a new town, she must face her own personal demons.

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Publishers Weekly

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While Collier captures tensions within Jo's family and within the community, Jo's confrontation of those tensions seems at times more sophisticated than her years might allow, such as when she quotes Scripture to rebuke a hypocritical group of deacons visiting her father.

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