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Call Me By My Name

Review

Call Me By My Name

When we think about racism, an antiquated image of segregated water fountains and burning crosses usually assembles itself in our heads. We think that after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, racism was virtually annihilated. We don't really think about the transition to integration that is so vividly illustrated in John Ed Bradley's novel, CALL ME BY MY NAME. The story is told from the point of view of Rodney Boulet (pronounced Boo-lay) as he recounts the adventures of his youth with his twin sister, Angie, and his black best friend, Tater Henry. Since the story takes place in Louisiana during the post-civil rights era of the 1970s, their friendship is highly controversial. Throw in a bit of romance, and we've got ourselves an all-out scandal.
 
[CALL ME BY MY NAME] is indeed an eye-opener that will cause all of its readers to think.
 
Overall, I thought that the writing was superb. Even the football scenes were easy to follow and there were plenty of details that were descriptive while not being overbearing. However, I found the story to be slightly sub-par. It started off very slow, and though it did pick up a bit, the entire time that I was reading, I was waiting for something big to happen. Nothing ever did. It is essentially a coming-of-age tale that navigates the changing attitudes of white southerners towards blacks in the 1970s. Luckily, there is a bit of a twist at the story's conclusion that is just poignant enough to earn the book a place in my heart.
 
Despite the slow start, I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone. It is indeed an eye-opener that will cause all of its readers to think.

Reviewed by Cheritta J., Teen Board Member on June 5, 2014

Call Me By My Name
by John Ed Bradley

  • Publication Date: May 6, 2014
  • Genres: Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1442497939
  • ISBN-13: 9781442497931