Finding Langston (Hardcover)
Fall 2018 Kids Indie Next List
“In this story of the Great Migration of 1946, 11-year-old Langston misses his mother who has passed away, his grandmother who was left behind and his father who has to work long hours. As Langston faces poverty and bullying in Chicago, he takes refuge in the library and discovers books and companionship, something that is life-affirming for both him and his father. Finding Langston is exactly the profound book of renewal we need right now.”
— Alice Hutchinson, Byrd's Books, Bethel, CT
In this poignant story eleven-year-old Langston overcomes bullies and loneliness, discovers the public library and the poet Langston Hughes, and makes a new home his own.
Langston's mother has just died when he and his father leave rural Alabama to make a new home in Chicago's South Side of the 1940s. It's lonely in the small apartment with just his father and at school he's bullied.
But Langston's new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the Chicago Public Library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston, a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.
A moving story of one boy's experiences during the Great Migration.
A Junior Library Guild selection!
About the Author
Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of Before She Was Harriet, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a nominee for an NAACP image award, and winner of the Christopher Award. Her other books include Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History and Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong.
“An engaging, quick, and relatable read that skillfully incorporates themes of race, class, post-war American life in the North and South, and a bit of Langston Hughes’ poetry. This is a story that will stay with readers long after they’ve finished it.”—School Library Journal, starred review
“The impact on the reader could not be more powerful. A memorable debut novel.”—Booklist, starred review
“A fascinating work of historical fiction . . . Cline-Ransome at her best.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Finding Langston is about cultural heritage and personal growth and, at its heart, about finding home wherever you land.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review
“Written in short chapters, this crisply paced book is full of historical details of the Great Migration and the role a historic branch library played in preserving African American literary culture.”—The Horn Book, starred review