A companion novel to Finding Langston, recipient of a Coretta Scott King Writing Honor and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.
Behind every bad boy is a story worth hearing and at least one chance for redemption. It's 1946 and Lymon, uprooted from his life in the Deep South and moved up North, needs that chance.
Lymon's father is, for the time being, at Parchman Farm--the Mississippi State Penitentiary--and his mother, whom he doesn't remember all that much, has moved North. Fortunately, Lymon is being raised by his loving grandparents. Together, Lymon and his grandpops share a love of music, spending late summer nights playing the guitar.
But Lymon's world as he knows it is about to dissolve. He will be sent on a journey to two Northern cities far from the country life he loves--and the version of himself he knows. In this companion novel to the Coretta Scott King Honor wining Finding Langston, readers will see a new side of the bully Lymon in this story of an angry boy whose raw talent, resilience, and devotion to music help point him in a new direction.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Selection!
Named a Best Multicultural Children's Book by the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book
Praise for Finding Langston, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
"There aren't any explosions in this spare story. Nor is there a happy ending. Instead, Langston discovers something more enduring: solace."--The New York Times
* "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
* "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
About the Author
Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of almost twenty books for young readers. Her work has received a plethora of honors, including dozens of starred reviews, NAACP Image Award nominations, Coretta Scott King Honors, and a Christopher Award, and has been named to ALA Notable Books and Bank Street Best Children's Books lists. She lives in Rhinebeck, NY, with her husband and collaborator James E. Ransome.
★ "Balancing rich history and timeless themes of race, instability, and the importance of music and the arts, this title is another must-have from Cline-Ransome."—School Library Journal, Starred Review
★ "Cline-Ransome's masterful storytelling will keep readers enthralled . . . A captivating novel about a boy whose story will leave readers wanting more."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ "Lymon’s life is a study of a boy who perpetually falls through the cracks, and who internalizes the painful lesson that the only person he can count on is himself. Cline-Ransome demonstrates a mastery of character development that deftly weaves historical and sociological nuances of an African American family."—The Horn Book, Starred Review
"Although readers of Finding Langston will appreciate the cannily crafted intersection of the two novels, readers who discover Lymon first will find the experience equally rewarding." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"In this companion to her Coretta Scott King Honor Book Finding Langston (2018), Cline-Ransome digs deep into the story of Lymon, the boy who bullied Langston. . . . Lymon's strong first-person narrative does an excellent job of capturing both the boy's confusion and disappointment, though his transformation into a bully is muted, as is the scene where he rips Langston's book. This is at its best when depicting the strong relationships that keep Lymon afloat, and the hopeful ending will uplift readers."—Booklist
"Ultimately redemptive and truly heartwarming, this character study—a stand-alone companion to the award-winning Finding Langston (Holiday House 2014)—is at once devastating and deeply beautiful. Very brief chapters are broken down into four sections ("Daddy," "Momma," "Lymon," and "Us"), facilitating enhanced readability for younger grades, while the subject matter and the masterpiece of an author’s note will reach those in middle school. Indeed, Lymon’s story is one of hope amidst great adversity and should be considered compulsory reading to all age levels." —School Library Connection