Sunday, June 24, 2012

Monkey Town by Ronald Kidd

It's the summer of 1925 in Dayton, TN, and Johnny Scopes broke the law: he taught evolution. This novel takes the real event, and delivers it through the eyes of Frances Robinson, a fifteen-year-old native of the sleepy, little town. As the trial heats up, Frances watches Johnny's spirit diminish, and the townspeople go from neighborly to violent - all in the name of God. As she comes to terms with her own beliefs, she realizes that a line has been drawn, and the consequences may be more than anyone bargained for.

I've read several fictional versions of this trial set to young adult literature, and this one is the best. Kidd does a good job of drawing the battle lines and presenting the chaos that ensues when people are consumed with assumptions and closed minds. The main reason that this gets a 3 CHECK rating is because it was boring in a lot of places, but the overall content is good. I'm just not sure if it will keep young adult readers' attentions.

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