It’s 1965, Los Angeles. All twelve-year-old Sophie wants to do is write her book, star in the community play, and hang out with her friend Jennifer. But she’s the new black kid in a nearly all-white neighborhood; her beloved sister, Lily, is going away to college soon; and her parents’ marriage is rocky. There’s also her family’s new, disapproving housekeeper to deal with. When riots erupt in nearby Watts and a friend is unfairly arrested, Sophie learns that life—and her own place in it—is even more complicated than she’d once thought. Leavened with gentle humor, this story is perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia.
It All Comes Down to ThisFeatured
It was the Summer of '65
Sophie has just moved to a mainly white neighborhood of Los Angeles. Luckily, she has a friend nearby, Jennifer, who is happy to stick up for Sophie when neighbor girls won't include Sophie. It's still a difficult summer, however. Sophie loves to write, and is working on a book about her father's half sister. No one talks about her, but she was an "outside child". This makes Sophie even more upset when she sees her lawyer father with another woman. Her sister Lily is off to Spelman college in the fall, and is working at a boutique where she is passing for white. There is a new housekeeper, Mrs. Baylor, with whom Sophie doesn't get along-- Mrs. Baylor has told her that in Africa, Sophie's light skin might get her killed! Mrs. Baylor's son Nathan is painting the house, and Lily is attracted to him. Lily's mother, who managed to become a successful professional despite being raised in an impoverished sharecropping family, forbids this. Lily and Jennifer both want to try out for a local play, and Sophie thinks she has a good chance. When the Watts riots occur, Sophie's family is more impacted by this than she could imagine, and Sophie learns some tough life lessons about race and prejudice during this point in US history.