Author: Bibi Belford
Published by: Sky Pony Press on July 25, 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Source: Sky Pony Press
Book Rating: 9/10
Billy’s family has fallen on hard times, what with his da hospitalized after the war and his ma barely scraping by. But it’s no hardship for him when there’s not enough money to pay the tuition for Nativity of Our Lord, the private Catholic school everyone in his neighborhood attends. Billy’s not big on education.
When he transfers to James Ward, a Chicago public school, he finds out there’s a big difference at public school: the kids aren’t all Irish—in fact, they aren’t even all white. It isn’t long before Billy’s found a new best friend in Foster, another fifth grader who also doesn’t have any money, loves baseball, and just happens to be black.
Billy is pretty sure skin color doesn’t matter. Not when he and Foster are just horsing around, playing baseball, working on the docks of the canal, and building a raft at their secret hideout on Bridgeport’s Bubbly Creek. But in the Red Summer of 1919, it does matter.
Heartfelt, sweeping, and immersive!
Crossing the Line is a moving, fascinating, coming-of-age story set in Chicago during the early 1900s that highlights all the struggles and racial tension of the time and reminds us that even though we’ve come so far, we still have a long way to go.
The writing is sincere and smooth. The characters are concerned, vulnerable and loyal. And the story is an exceptionally compelling tale about life, loss, familial dynamics, friendship, courage, community, discrimination, and racial segregation.
Overall, Crossing the Line is a well written, exceptionally researched, moving novel by Belford that is a beautiful blend of historical facts, intriguing fiction, and endearing characters.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.