Inspired by her father’s time as a lawyer in the Civil Right’s movement, Shana Burg’s A Thousand Never Evers is the story of Addie Ann Pickett, a young African- American girl growing up in the Deep South during the Civil Rights movement. This is the best kid of historical fiction- a realistic character who is easy to connect with, just trying to be a kid during her time. Addie and her family live in the Negro side of town and work for white folks on the other side. She can’t wait to start 7th grade at the junior high, even if she and her friends have to go to the segregated school 3 miles away. But when racial tensions grow in town and Addie’s brother and uncle are swept into trouble, everything changes.
Full of references to actual events, like the Birmingham church bombing and Medger Evars murder, A Thousand Never Evers is impossible to put down. I would love to use this book in literature circles along with The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963. I think the two books would stoke some amazing conversations between my students.
This is definitely a book that middle school teachers should not miss. Kid-friendly historical fiction can be hard to come by, but this is the best of the best!