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The year is 1867, the South has been defeated, and the American Civil War is over. But the conflict goes on. Yankees now patrol the streets of Richmond, Virginia, and its citizens, both black and white, are struggling to redefine their roles and relationships. By day, fourteen-year-old Shadrach apprentices with a tailor and sneaks off for reading lessons with Rachel, a freed slave, at her school for African-American children. By night he follows his older brother Jeremiah to the meetings of a group whose stated mission is to protect Confederate widows like their mother. But as the true murderous intentions of the group, now known as the Ku Klux Klan, are revealed, Shad finds himself trapped between old loyalties and what he knows is right.
In this powerful and unflinching story of a family caught in the period of Reconstruction, A.B. Westrick provides a glimpse into the enormous social and political upheaval of the time.
About the Author
A.B. Westrick is the daughter of Southerners who sought to leave the South behind. Raised in Pennsylvania, she later moved with her husband to Virginia and spent hours walking Richmond’s brick streets, wondering how her ancestors fared during and after the War Between the States. Brotherhood grew from these wonderings.
A.B. Westrick has been a teacher, paralegal, literacy volunteer, administrator, and coach for teams from Odyssey of the Mind to the Reading Olympics. A graduate of Stanford University and Yale Divinity School, she received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of the Fine Arts in 2011. Brotherhood is her first novel.
A.B. Westrick and her family live in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Visit her at www.abwestrick.com.
Praise for BROTHERHOOD by A.B. Westrick:
- YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults List (BFYA)
- 2014 Jane Addams Honor Book for Older Readers
- Jefferson Cup Award winner (VLA)
"Great historical fiction always feels like a gift… All the characters, dialogue, and action support each other deftly and with no filler." —VOYA Magazine, starred review
"Westrick makes an impressive debut. . . drawing a vivid picture of the embittered, violent environment of 1867 Richmond." —Publishers Weekly
"Debut author Westrick does an excellent job of re-creating post-Civil War Richmond. . . A welcome addition to classroom discussions." —School Library Journal
"This coming-of-age story will spark fruitful discussions about race, identity, social pressure and loyalty.” —Kirkus Reviews
"This compelling coming-of-age story uses great characterization and descriptive, illustrative writing to provide a glimpse into life in the post-Civil War South." —LMC